Who Are the Songwriters Behind Harry Styles’ “As It Was”

“As It Was” kicked off Harry Styles’ third album cycle. Harry’s House shed a lot of the classic rock vibes in Styles’ earliest work and turned the indie-pop dial-up to 11. Despite (or maybe because of) the shift, the album pushed Styles further into the mainstream than ever before.

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“As It Was” became a colossal radio hit–the biggest of Styles’ career in fact. While his own songwriting chops cannot be denied, the A-team of co-writers he had at his disposal while crafting “As It Was” certainly didn’t hurt. Who wrote “As It Was” with Styles? Find out below.

Who wrote the song?

Styles co-wrote this song with Kid Harpoon (aka Tom Hull) and Tyler Johnson. The pair of hitmakers only work together on Styles’ records, making the resulting work all the more special.

“As It Was” came about while at Sony CEO Rob Stringer’s London Home. Styles, Hull and Johnson each took on an element of the song – Hill on a majority of the instruments, Johnson on a laptop and the keys and Styles putting pen to paper for the lyrics.

“If ideas stick, we go with it, and if not, we just disregard it and nobody feels kinda slighted,” Johnson told Variety of their partnership. “The trust and synergy between us when we’re writing is really the magic.”

The song ended up being a career-high for Styles, breaking the record for the longest solo No. 1 in history with 15 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With that milestone, Styles surpassed the likes of Whitney Houston (“I Will Always Love You”), Mariah Carey (“We Belong Together”), and Elton John (“Candle In The Wind”).

“It doesn’t feel like this is just for his fans — it feels like a cultural moment,” said Hull of the song. “And it feels like music, regardless of whether you know anything about Harry.”

Separate from their work with Styles, Hull and Johnson have amassed quite a list of accolades as songwriters.

Hull first emerged in the London live music scene in 2006. Since, he has put out an array of music under his own name, while working with some of today’s biggest artists. He worked with Maggie Rogers on her latest album, Surrender, and Lizzo on “If You Love Me.” Elsewhere he has cuts on albums by Florence + the Machine, Calvin Harris and Jessie Ware.

Johnson has had a similarly lauded career. He was Grammy-nominated for his work as an engineer on Taylor Swift’s Red, and Ed Sheeran’s X. Elsewhere he has worked with Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Diplo, Pink, OneRepublic, Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor and Toni Braxton.

Photo by Lillie Eiger / Courtesy of Sony Music

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