Mama knows best! Harry Styles’ previously unreleased audition for The X-Factor was released earlier this week, and it offers another song that he used during his audition for the competition show all the way back in 2010. The whole clip featured the future One Direction member singing “Hey Soul Sister” by Train before giving his iconic a cappella rendition of “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.
While the original audition that aired featured a 16-year-old Harry performing “Isn’t She Lovely,” the previously unreleased footage revealed that his first song was Train’s 2009 hit. Before he performed “Hey Soul Sister,” there was also an extended interview beforehand as well as a bit more banter between him and judge Simon Cowell before he belted out the tune.
The back-and-forth Harry had with Simon included him asking about what sweets were “popular” in the bakery that Harry was working in at the time that he auditioned. After Harry spoke about his plans for college, Simon asked why he wanted to audition. The Fine Line singer responded by mentioning that his loved ones had told him he had the talent (they were right). “My mum’s always told me that I’m a good singer and so have my friends,” Harry said.
Even though Harry’s now one of the biggest popstars in the globe, Simon gave the teen a bit of a reality check before he heard him sing. “Mums normally don’t know,” he said. When the judge asked for his thoughts, Harry responded, “I think with your help, I could be a lot better than that,” he said. After Harry sang the Train song, Simon asked for him to do a track sans music, and the rest is history! It’s clear from the originally released audition footage that his take on “Isn’t She Lovely” is what helped him progress on the show.
In hindsight, it’s clear that Simon’s ear for great musical talent was correct! While on The X-Factor, Harry was grouped with his One Direction bandmates, and the boy band became an international sensation. Since the group split up in 2016, Harry has dropped three albums and become one of the biggest names in music on his own, with a Best Pop Solo Performance Grammy win for “Watermelon Sugar” in 2021.