This is a tricky one. There’s a lot of interesting things going on here.
Mainly I believe Harry and Kendall are more industry friends than they ever were ‘lovers’. I think they became friends through their mutual ties with the Azoffs, which would explain why they always hang out together with members of the Azoff family.
So I don’t see that Harry was ever involved with her on a real level, or that he was ever crazy for her. During their Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts segment on James Corden, they appear to have a strong sibling-like banter; although Kendall at times seems to want for more (which has always struck me as the case since the yacht pics.)
Realistically, they were only seen together with dating rumors for short spurts in late 2013 into New Years of 2014 I believe, and then again over New Years of 2015/2016. I think they’re just pals who occasionally liked to create dating rumors. It’s a classic PR move.
Point being, Harry was always preoccupied with his feelings for Zayn, imo, and this affected the way he could have relationships with other people. It would explain why to this day Harry has never been tied to any of his “dates” for longer than a month or two, and why Camille lasted for about a year only because he was literally on tour the entire time. I think if you distilled that year down to actual time he spent with Camille, it would equal a few months like the rest of his “dates.”
I don’t say this to try and invalidate Harry’s relationships with these people, I say it because it’s the truth. It seems to me that he struggles to find more than a transient, superficial connection with his “partners” because of the Zayn Factor, which always manifests in his music (which he has said time and time again that is where he is the most honest, that is the only place he lets thoughts about his relationships be known, and that writing is therapeutic for him; presumably because it’s the place he feels free to express thoughts he otherwise suppresses.)
People think HS1 is about her because Harry designated a person who he wanted to “give the whole hat to and hope they know it’s just for them” as opposed to just “tipping the hat” like he did for Taylor. And I suppose people came to this conclusion because the journalist (Cameron Crowe) for his Rolling Stone article shoehorned Kendall’s name into the article. Harry did not say her name, not once. In fact, after this article came out and the reporter’s words made people draw the conclusion that HS1 is about Kendall, Harry suddenly stopped being honest about the person, and began saying the album is not about a “woman” and that the album is more about himself. ‘
Here’s what’s wrong with the Kendall theory:
- Zayn exists.
- The lyrics make no sense for her, and also, Zayn exists.
A running theme of Harry’s debut album is that he is broken in the aftermath of someone leaving him following a fallout. Problem is, he was singing about those very things the year before in 2015, because this is also the running theme of every single song he wrote for Made In The AM. Even “Perfect” illustrates he’s singing to someone he broke-up with because he tells them “If you’re looking for someone to write your breakup songs about, baby I’m perfect. Baby we’re perfect.”
The problem with Kendall comes in to play pretty clearly. There are only 10 songs on HS1 and none of them apply to her logically (in my interpretation.)
“Meet Me In The Hallway” is first and foremost a blatant revelation that he and Zayn used to linkup by meeting in the hallway of hotels. This clarity comes from two places.
1) You meet in the hallway of large buildings that are easy to get lost in. You don’t tell people to meet you in the hallway of a house. Hotels are the only places large enough to meet in the hallway of, plus they have bedrooms.
2) Harry expounds on what the phrase “meet me in the hallway” indicates in “Only Angel”. In that song he says: “End up meeting in the hallway every single time and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
This entire song (“Only Angel”) is referencing a sexual relationship he has with someone who is anything but an angel between the sheets. Someone he couldn’t take home to mother and present as his partner because they were not fit for that in a traditional sense. Someone he doesn’t believe actually loves him because their relationship is built around an affair (sentiments he struggles with in Fine Line as well.) Someone who eventually left him broken, which is where the fuller emotional sentiment comes into play in MMITH. Also the outro to MMITH is a direct response to Zayn’s “I Won’t Mind.”
MMITH is about someone who left Harry broken to the point where he was mentally ill. “Gotta get better, gotta get better. You left me in the hallway…just take my pain away.”
That’s someone he was highly dependent on physically and emotionally and who he had HISTORY with. How could this be about Kendall when their relationship is so hit and miss and mostly platonic? Also how when he and Kendall were still friends all the way through 2015-2016 when he was writing all these heartbreaking songs for Made in the AM and HS1? He even went to her birthday party in late 2016.
Sooooo? Same logic applies for “From the Dining Table”. That song is glaringly Zayn-oriented, and Zayn responded to it directly with Dusk Till Dawn.
To reiterate, the same logic applies to “Only Angel” because there is a lyrical thread from “Meet Me In The Hallway” in that song. “End up meeting in the hallway every single time. Broke a knuckle knocking on your bedroom door I got splinters in my knuckles crawling across the floor…” “Only Angel” is inextricably tied to the person MMITH is about.
We know “Carolina” is not about her because that’s about a girl from North Carolina that he only met once, and he said the song was written at the last minute on a whim, only to add some fun to the album which was otherwise pretty heavy.
We know the monumental “Sign Of The Times” is not about her, plus the imagery about the “final show” and “flying/breaking through the atmosphere” and “we gotta get away from here” are allusions to he and Zayn leaving the band; and Zayn pleading for someone to fly him to the moon mere weeks before he left.
We know “Kiwi” is not realistically about her because she doesn’t smoke, she didn’t have a baby, and she didn’t have a prick/cactus for a boyfriend when she was involved with Harry. This song seems like another one of those playful, inventive narratives like “Carolina” or “Sour Diesel” but the song also alludes to Harry being in an affair with someone who has another partner simultaneously (why is this a reoccurring theme in all the music Harry has written since 2013? He is always jealous of his lover’s other partner.)
“Ever Since New York” is again about someone leaving him, and has a direct lyrical reference to Zayn’s “It’s You.”
We know she doesn’t fit the description in “Two Ghosts” plus that song is clearly about him “tipping the hat” to Taylor Swift. “Woman” doesn’t seem to fit either because this is about a relationship where Harry is the “mistress” basically, and he’s watching the person he loves with another person and it’s driving him insane (which again is the running narrative of the Zarry situation, first with Perrie and then with Gigi.)
We know she’s not his Sweet Creature because he didn’t come of age with her, and she never lived in the same house as him, and it is rather apparent that their relationship is too superficial for her to be the one who “brings him home”.
The only place I think Harry makes mention of Kendall is in “From The Dining Table”: “Woke up the girl who looked just like you, I almost said your name.” That’s it. I think she can resemble Zayn at times around the eyes and eyebrow area. And what was it that Harry said he missed when Zayn was gone for a few days in 2012? His eyes.
So, it’s clear that it’s impossible for Kendall to logically or reasonably (or firmly) be tied to any individual song on HS1, let alone her being “a huge part of the album.” Clearly the person Harry wants to “give them the whole hat and hope they know it’s just for them” is Zayn.
Zayn fits every song without forcing a narrative and without trying. He is the one who fell out with Harry in 2015 according to Joe Cummings from Bangkok. He is factually the one Harry was getting drunk over in a bar and venting about in a “semi-poetic stream of consciousness.”
He was the one Harry wrote about falling out with before he left in “Olivia”, “WITW”, and “If I Could Fly.” He was the one Harry was pleading to write their breakup songs about him in Perfect, since he knew Zayn was writing Mind of Mine when he left. He was the one Harry was meeting in the hallway (of a hotel.) He is the one who left Harry when he left the band. He is the one who Harry hadn’t spoken to since he went away. Zayn confirmed it by refusing to publicly reconcile with Harry despite reconciling with all the other boys in a public way. Harry made it clear that Zayn was THE ONE by adopting Zayn’s Lotus Rebirth Symbolism from 2015 as his album cover art.
Also Harry made that even clearer with Fine Line when he got 10x more direct about Zayn.
A few people tried to say “Adore You” was about her because of the brown skin line and it’s just like….ugh. No, Kendall is a white person (nothing wrong with being white). And although she is beautiful, she is not as exotic as she has made herself look through surgery and fake tans. Harry didn’t say “your tanned skin and lemon over ice” he said “your brown skin.” Plus she doesn’t fit the narrative of the fish in the video like Zayn does.
Harry did not mention “brown skin” in two separate songs in a 12 song album because he is singing about a white person with an occasional (or fake) tan like Louis, Kendall, or Camille. He’s celebrating the fact that the person he loves is brown. They are a brown person. South Asian, like Zayn. The proof is presented above in the form of all the other glaring things he did to refer to Zayn in Fine Line, especially the sunflower song when Zayn has two giant sunflowers on his neck.