Arlo Parks reveals what it’s really like touring with Harry Styles – and it’s not what you were expecting


Having written her first song at the tender age of eight, Arlo, now 22, began uploading demos to BBC Music Introducing in 2018, catching the attention of music executives.

Just a year later, she performed her first-ever gig at The Great Escape Festival, before going to secure further slots at iconic festivals Glastonbury and Latitude and an opening spot on Harry Styles’ tour.

Ahead of her new album My Soft Machine, out now, Arlo insisted she wasn’t suffering from difficult second album syndrome – despite the soaring success of her first LP.

‘I feel like difficult second album syndrome is a thing but for some reason I have managed to escape it,’ she explained.

‘I think it’s because I just started telling myself, “I’m working on songs.” I don’t even want to think about it as a record. I’m just making songs that I like. And that took away the heaviness and the dread that can be associated with album writing.’

Arlo was as full of praise for As It Was singer Harry, 29, who she supported on several dates during his tour last year, including in Dublin, writing on Instagram at the time she was ‘pinching herself’.

She said that while they didn’t get much time to swap tips about the music industry and chat backstage, Harry was ‘lovely’ and ‘super welcoming.’ Metro reports.

Arlo explained: ‘[On tour] we said, “Hello.” And that was lovely and he was super welcoming. But then he retreated back into his own little safe space.

‘To command an audience like that – 10s of 1000s of people night after night – I feel like you need to spend a little bit of time by yourself taking care of yourself. But he was really lovely.’

Last September, Arlo cancelled several shows on her own headline tour after reaching a ‘very dark place’, following on from artists including Sam Fender and Justin Bieber who’ve also recently put gigs on pause.

Today she’s unsure how the music industry can tackle artists’ mental health – but relies on a network of other musicians, including Lorde and Clairo, for support.

‘It’s really difficult because people have different needs,’ she explained.

‘And a big thing about musicians is we’re just traveling all the time. It’s difficult to really set up a base, a place where people can go and seek help and get advice and therapy and counseling.

‘But I feel like something that I’ve experienced, which has been really helpful is just how people are there for each other within the music industry.

‘It’s very easy to just reach out to someone on text and be like, “Hey, how do you cope with self-doubt or writer’s block? Or what’s something that you do to combat burnout?”

‘Everyone is just swapping wisdom and they’re there for each other. Artists very much like supporting each other and championing each other’s health and happiness. That’s definitely something that feels like it’s moving in the right direction.’

As for who she hits up in her phone book, Arlo replied: ‘It’s the people I’ve been maybe friends with for a longer time, people like Maggie Rogers, Clairo and Ella from Lorde. There are so many people who have a real sense of openness.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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