Harry Styles is reportedly locked in a bidding war between record labels Universal and Sony Music as he launches his solo career.
The British pop star officially registered four new solo songs, titled Already Home, Coco, Endlessly, and 5378 Miles and signed with new management last year (15) as he gears up to launch his solo career during One Direction's hiatus.
He is now reportedly moving himself further away from his boyband roots by leaving Syco, Simon Cowell's label with Sony Music, for his solo venture, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper.
However, Sony Music executives aren't prepared to lose the star so easily and are locked in a bidding war to stop him for moving to Universal's Capitol Records label, which will reportedly be managed out of the U.S. It is thought Universal's Polydor Records will represent him in the U.K.
“Harry is being offered so many incentives to stay (at Sony). They’re breaking the bank for him," a source told the newspaper.
An insider explains Harry is trying to distance himself from the pop group, and leaving Syco is part of a "masterplan" led by his new manager Jeffrey Azoff, the son of music industry mogul and longtime Eagles handler Irving Azoff.
However, the 22-year-old's current priority is his first movie role, in Christopher Nolan's wartime drama Dunkirk. He chopped his long locks off for the part earlier this month (May16) and donated it to organisers at the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs for young cancer sufferers without hair.
He is not the only One Direction star to move from Syco before their solo launch - Zayn Malik signed with RCA Records last year and Simon issued a statement praising the decision.
“With RCA, Zayn has the perfect label to work with on his solo career," Simon said at the time. "They are excited about working with him and I am sure whatever they release together will be special.”