Is This Pentatonix Song About Harry Styles and Taylor Swift?

Harry Styles’ romance with Taylor Swift intrigued the public — but did it inspire Pentatonix to write a song? Pentatonix is most known for their covers of popular songs but they’ve also released original music. Here’s how a member of the group reacted to the fan theory one of their original tracks is about Styles and Swift. 

Harry Styles wearing poles
Harry Styles | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

How Pentatonix wrote a song with indie vibes

Every artist has to shake things up to keep their music interesting. In an interview with Jeff Benjamin of Fuse, then-Pentatonix member Avi Kaplan discussed the creation of the band’s self-titled album. He said the song “Rose Gold” stood out from the rest of the album.

“The writing process for it was really, really cool,” Kaplan said. “It’s probably our most ‘indie-vibey’ song on there, [and] it was really cool to go down that road. I personally hope we go down that road a little more. I feel like a cappella can be used in a really cool way with voices to create a really cool vibe…It’s really cool because it’s sort of like a movie scene. So, even though the lyrics set the tone, it has this really beautiful sheen over it.”

Pentatonix | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Avi Kaplan responds to a fan theory that ‘Rose Gold’ is about Harry Styles and Taylor Swift

Afterward, Benjamin told Kaplan about a fan theory claiming “Rose Gold” was about Styles and Swift. Benjamin noted how another member of Pentatonix, Scott Hoying, sparked the theory with a tweet. The tweet said Pentatonix had Swift “in mind” when they wrote the track.

Kaplan responded “Oh, I think Scott was just joking around with that!” However, in a separate interview, Hoying said the connection between Swift and “Rose Gold” was more than a joke.

“Rose Gold”

Taylor Swift’s influence on ‘Rose Gold’

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hoying discussed the influences on Pentatonix’s self-titled album. He said everyone from Justin Timberlake to Lana Del Rey to Boyz II Men influenced the record. In addition, he discussed how Swift inspired “Rose Gold.”

“[Swift’s] 1989 is, like, the album of the century,” Hoying opined. “That whole sound and aesthetic that she has going on was really intriguing for us. So with our song ‘Rose Gold,’ we channeled that chill, almost folky-pop sound and nostalgia.”


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In the Entertainment Weekly interview, Hoying said Swift did inspire “Rose Gold” — just not in the way some fans believed. “Rose Gold” drew from the sound of Swift’s album 1989 rather than her personal life. If you look closely at the lyrics of “Rose Gold,” the influence is obvious.

“Rose Gold’ includes the lyric “Couldn’t fit in only black and white” which recalls the line “The rest of the world was black and white/But we were in screaming color” from the 1989 track “Out of the Woods.” In addition, “Rose Gold” features a reference to James Dean, as does “Style,” a hit from 1989. In conclusion, “Rose Gold” is a standout track for Pentatonix — regardless of who inspired it.