At the end of the track, the model, 33, speaks in her native French, saying, “Coucou! Tu dors? Oh, j’suis désolée / Bah non, nan, c’est pas important / Bon allez … on a été à la plage, et maintenant on … / Parfait!” Translated to English, she says, “Hey! Are you asleep? Oh, I’m sorry / Well no, nope, it’s not important / Well then … we went to the beach and now we … / Perfect!”
Styles, 25, confirmed in a recent interview that he put an ex’s voicemail on the song, although he did not mention her by name.
“When we listened back to the album, I asked her to add it in,” he explained to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “I wanted [‘Cherry’] to reflect how I felt then. I was feeling not great. It’s all about being not great. Because, you get petty when things don’t go the way you want it. There’s parts that’s so pathetic.”
The title of “Cherry” is seemingly a mash-up of the former couple’s first names. The lyrics find the former One Direction member singing about his ex moving on with another man. He begs her not to “call him what you used to call me,” and later sings, “I just miss your accent and your friends / Did you know I still talk to them? Does he take you walking ‘round his parents’ gallery?” (Rowe is rumored to be dating art dealer Theo Niarchos, who owns the Los Angeles gallery 6817 Melrose.)
Styles and Rowe dated from July 2017 to July 2018. At the start of their romance, they attended a Fleetwood Mac concert together in New York City, and an eyewitness told Us Weekly exclusively that they “were all over each other” and “looked really cozy.”
The Dunkirk actor’s friend and collaborator Tom Hull told Rolling Stone in August that the breakup “had a big impact” on Styles and his new album. The “Kiwi” crooner, for his part, told the magazine, “It’s not like I’ve ever sat and done an interview and said, ‘So I was in a relationship, and this is what happened.’ “Because, for me, music is where I let that cross over. It’s the only place, strangely, where it feels right to let that cross over.”
Styles’ Fine Line performance at The Forum in Inglewood, California, will be broadcast on his @HSHQ Instagram page on Friday, December 13, at 5:30 p.m. PT.
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