Since the band decided to go on hiatus in 2016, each of its members has released and/or announced individual projects — including Louis Tomlinson with one single, “Just Hold On”; Niall Horan with two singles and an upcoming album; and Harry Styles with his self-titled debut album Harry Styles — but Payne wasn’t quite on board with the idea of pursuing music as his own frontman.
“To be honest with you, I wasn’t going to do a solo venture,” Payne told Billboard after releasing his first single on May 19. “I was just going to go into songwriting and carry on and do that.”
Payne had co-written songs on each of One Direction’s five albums, so clearly songwriting is in his blood. That being said, he decided to listen to his 14-year-old self and try his hand at a solo album before taking it all behind the scenes for good.
“But then I was like, ‘You’ve been trying to do this since you were 14 years old. You would be ridiculously stupid to turn down the option to have a deal,’” Payne explained. “Coming out of the band, we had some pretty good opportunities around us. I had to do something.”
1D fans are SO glad Payne decided to venture out on his own because let’s be honest, all these solo songs are keeping One Direction alive in our hearts!
Plus, despite the fact that Horan recently teased a future 1D reunion, and Payne is on board for writing new music with his former band mates, we know it’s not going to happen right away, so Payne jumping on the solo music train is making up for the band not being together right now.
What do you think about Payne’s new song, “Strip That Down?” Are you ready for his first solo album to drop?