By Emma Stefansky. Photos: Getty Images.
It’s not uncommon for performers to offer sustenance for die-hard fans willing to wait in line for days or more to get a chance to see them. Currently, Harry Styles fans have been lined up (or queued, as Styles would say) outside Manhattan’s NBC Studios for at least a day, if not more, for their chance to see the onetime One Direction member perform solo as tonight’s Saturday Night Live musical guest. As a token of gratitude, Styles himself sent out plates of kiwi slices to everyone in line—which, if you’ve been following the news about Styles’ first eponymous solo album, is a pretty big deal. Seventh on the tracklist is a song titled “Kiwi,” which has remained a mystery so far; the only single that’s been released from the album yet is “Sign of the Times.” The kiwi slices probably mean that he’ll be debuting that song during S.N.L., but we still don‘t have any idea what it could be about.
So let’s Pepe Silvia this thing.
Right off the bat, the name “Kiwi” is a little mysterious. The word itself can refer to any of three different things: the most popular usage in this country is for the green fruit that you don’t chew, but rather smush to death with your tongue on the roof of your mouth to avoid getting those tiny black seeds stuck in your teeth. Normally, you can find them adding a nice pop of color to fruit salads. Maybe “Kiwi” is the kiwi of Harry Styles, a little something different to add pizazz—while still getting parts of itself wedged between your molars.
The kiwi is also a flightless bird found only within the shores of New Zealand. They’re small, brown, and a few species of them are endangered, so many forested areas are protected to preserve as many of the birds as possible. The kiwi’s egg is the largest egg relative to body size of any bird on the planet. Perhaps, with “Kiwi,” Harry Styles is saying how big this album is going to be, the largest musical release relative to body size of any artist in history. He’s 5‘11”, according to Google, so that’s a pretty big album.
Last, and perhaps most likely, “kiwi” can refer to the citizens of New Zealand themselves, as the bird has become a national symbol of the country. Which means that Styles has probably dedicated this song to some New Zealander. But who could it be? His time filming Dunkirk may have introduced Styles to some prominent New Zealand natives in showbiz. Peter Jackson? (Is Harry Styles a big Lord of the Rings nerd now?) Could it be Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi? Maybe he’s a Flight of the Conchords fan. Maybe he watched Jurassic Park recently and fell head over heels for Sam Neill. Or he was catching up with True Blood and found his muse in Anna Paquin.
A song dedication is a pretty serious declaration of love, especially for a musical artist. And there’s no one Styles loves more than his fans, or he wouldn’t be handing them slices of fruit (or pizza, or apples, or coffee, according to Mashable). Maybe, in the end, the song is a message of gratitude for years of support. After all this time, it is we who are the kiwi.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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