Harry Styles working with Bruno Mars on debut solo album

Ever since we learnt that Harry Styles had reportedly signed an $80M (£60M) record deal with Columbia Records, we’ve been trying to imagine what to expect – but now we might have our first insight, thanks to Robbie Williams.

Uptown Hunk: Bruno Mars has written lyrics for Harry Styles ahead of his debut solo album release (Copyright: Kevin Mazur/Steve Jennings)

The former Take That member admitted he had been struggling to attract big names to collaborate with him, unlike the Dunkirk actor, who he regarded as the “new” Robbie Williams.

“Last year I tried to work with Bruno Mars – didn’t hear anything back,” Robbie told the latest issue of the Radio Times. “Tried to work with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin – didn’t hear anything back. They literally didn’t return my calls.

“Then I met Harry Styles in an airport. ‘Oh, you’re writing, Harry? Great, who with? He goes: Well, I just spent a week with Bruno Mars, and I’m about to spend a week with Max Martin.’”

Robbie Williams presents Harry Styles of One Direction with the Global Success at The Brit Awards 2013 (Copyright: Getty/Dave J Hogan)

The Party Like A Russian singer then told Harry, “You’re the new me. Good luck!”

Robbie rose to fame during Take That’s first run in the early-to-mid-1990s, but went on to become a commercial success as a solo artist after leaving the group in 1995.

And now, as the most successful British solo artist on the UK album chart, the 42-year-old singer has shared his belief that the One Direction star will go on to achieve similar success, comparing the fascination to David Beckham.

Harry Styles attends the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Copyright: Getty/JB Lacroix)

Expressing his admiration for the fellow musician, he said: “I think Harry Styles has beguiled the whole world just by being Harry Styles. He’s got a David Beckham-style quality. So he has won in that regard.”

Adding a word of warning, he then commented: “There’s a space for him, but the music has to be great.”

Harry Styles is expected to release his solo album next year alongside his Hollywood debut in Christopher Nolan’s epic war film Dunkirk, which is currently slated for a July 2017 release.

Meanwhile Robbie Williams recently topped the charts (again) with his new album The Heavy Entertainment Show, which features the controversial track Party Like A Russian.