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One Direction: How they all went in different directions

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emmanuel chapter.

Seven weeks ago I was three rows away from Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden. I’ve been a die-hard Directioner from the X-Factor auditions and video diaries, so this was an absolute dream come true. But the thing is, Harry wasn’t even my favorite member; I was a complete Louis girl. I actually thought Harry was straight-up OVERRATED. From the start, it seemed like everyone was either a Harry fan or a Niall fan. Seven years after the band’s “hiatus,” has this opinion remained the same?  

I decided to look more closely at what these members have accomplished since we last heard them together. 


Of course, I have to talk about my favorite member first. I will always maintain that Louis had the softest voice out of all of the members, leading him to stand out from the pack. However, I do not think that served him in his solo career. While he does have a beautiful voice, he lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi” that has led to his career post One Direction to flop. 

Since One Direction, Louis has released multiple singles such as “Back to You”, “Two of Us”, and album Walls. However, these simply did not reach fans’ high expectations. 


Even though One Direction is long gone, I will always see Niall as this cute little Irish boy with clear braces. Niall for the most part stays out of any controversies or scandals, maintaining this “good boy” appearance. Niall landed a record deal back in 2016, right after the band went separate ways. He released hit singles “This Town” and “Slow Hands,” followed by album Flicker in 2017. 

Recently, Niall and fellow singer/best friend Lewis Capaldi traveled around Ireland in a documentary, Homecoming: The Road to Mullingar, presented by Guinness. Niall is also set to coach in the upcoming season of The Voice. I predict even more significant things in Niall’s horizon.


Playing the role of a “bad boy” with a shy side, Zayn captured our hearts and then broke them with his decision to leave One Direction before their fifth and final album. Directioners were in shambles with his departure, some even resenting Zayn for his decision to carry on with a solo career. 

His first solo song “Pillowtalk” was quite a shock for fans, who were not used to this kind of steamy music. Despite its jarring effect, this song was a hit and Malik would go on to release the album “Mind of Mine” shortly after. Zayn has gone on to release two more albums, Icarus Falls (2018) and Nobody is Listening” (2021). 


I believe Liam played a minimal role in One Direction’s success. He had fans, sure, but he did not have anything that made him stand out from his bandmates. It seems as though all the members had something that made them unique or special, and unfortunately, Liam lacked that.

After One Direction, Liam went on to release “Strip That Down” which despite its popularity, was the last fans heard of him until 2019 with the release of the album, LP1. This led fans to wonder what was next in his music career. Liam has been in hot water recently after his appearance on Logan Paul’s podcast Impaulsive, where he made claims of being the most successful member and made accusations of Zayn throwing him against a wall


I saved Harry for last because I think he’s the one we hear most about. In One Direction, he seemed to be the unofficial leader of the group. It seemed as though everyone’s favorite was Harry, with many loving his curly hair and charismatic smile. Fans’ love has translated now seven years later, as we see him topping the charts with albums such as Harry Styles (2017), Fine Line (2019), and most recently, Harry’s Home (2022). These albums were obviously successful, selling out concert venues all over the world. 

Styles has also ventured into movies, with a debut in historical drama, Dunkirk in 2017. Most recently he played lead roles in Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman (2022). I have no doubt Harry will continue to expand his acting career, and his music with it. 

It is evident that One Direction simply went in many different directions. Some did well, some are rarely heard from. Has anything surprised you since the “hiatus” began? Do you think there is any chance we’ll see a reunion in the future?

Eva Doyne

Emmanuel '25

Hi, I'm Eva! I'm currently a sophomore at Emmanuel College, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy on the Pre-Law track.