Columbia/ErskineHarry Styles‘ self-titled debut album didn’t produce a string of smash singles, but it was critically acclaimed, and his solo tour was hugely successful. That’s why Harry says that when he went in to make his new album Fine Line, he felt a lot more confident than he did the first time around.

Speaking to the U.K. publication Music Week, Harry says that when he made his first album, “I was a little subconsciously afraid of making fun music having come out of [One Direction].”

He adds, “I tried to get rid of that a little bit.”

“The fact that the last album wasn’t necessarily a radio record, but I could tour it and people came to the shows and enjoyed them, made me feel I had freedom to make what I wanted to, and I wanted to make some fun songs,” Harry explains.

But the “Adore You” singer also admits that while making the album, he went on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

“The times where I was really happy were the happiest of my life, but the times where I was a little lower were the saddest times,” he says, noting that he went “through a lot of self-reflection” during the process.

“Having been through one [solo] album and one tour, it made me look at everything and be like, ‘OK, what do I want to do?’ and ‘Who am I if I don’t do this?’” he continued.

Ultimately, Harry says he realized, “People just wanted me to be myself and be authentic…so I definitely went into this album with a freedom, that I didn’t have, or didn’t allow myself to have, last time.”

Fine Line arrives this Friday, December 13. The North American leg of his upcoming tour starts June 26 in Philadelphia.

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