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The Internet Is in Its Louis Tomlinson Era and It’s About Time

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

In January 2016, One Direction, one of the biggest bands on the planet at the time, went on an 18-month hiatus. But in 2023, that “break” sounds more like a “breakup.” Since then, the five members of the band have gone on to pursue solo careers in music, and very successful ones at that.

Zayn Malik and Niall Horan have both released three very popular albums, Liam Payne had one of the most popular pop songs of 2019, and Harry Styles has won multiple Grammy Awards and is one of the most famous artists in the world today. However, the band’s eldest member, Louis Tomlinson, didn’t jump on the solo train immediately like the others, making his rise to solo popularity a little slower. But he is finally getting his flowers and fans couldn’t be happier.

Louis Tomlinson was born in Doncaster, England on Dec. 24, 1991. He, Horan, Malik, Payne, and Styles all auditioned for the singing competition series The X Factor (U.K.) in 2010 as solo artists but were later grouped into a band that they named One Direction. The band did extremely well on the show, and even though they did not win the competition, they won the hearts of millions of fans across the world and became overnight sensations. They went on to release five albums and went on multiple world tours. Zayn Malik left the band in March 2015 for personal reasons and to start his solo career, and the rest of the band split in 2016 to do the same.

Tomlinson took a different approach to solo music than the rest of the boys, choosing to release several singles not associated with albums or EPs. These songs, including “Just Hold On” and “Back to You,” were very successful and took a large amount of inspiration from the British pop genre.

Tomlinson continued his release strategy until October 2019, when he announced his first album Walls. The album was released in January 2020 and featured 12 songs by the artist, carrying a heavy pop-rock influence. Tomlinson’s first world tour was postponed due to the pandemic, but he was able to perform the album at several festivals and venues. Today, the album has sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide.

Tomlinson announced his second album, Faith in the Future, in August 2022 and released it in November that same year. This album is mainly comprised of the British indie rock genre and has 18 tracks. It has been extremely successful, hitting No. 1 in the U.K. upon its release. Tomlinson is currently touring the album in Europe.

Tomlinson is finally getting the praise he deserves, but it was a difficult journey to get there. In his recent documentary, All of Those Voices, he discussed how he was often overlooked in One Direction, being given smaller vocal parts due to his voice being unique for the pop genre. In their first two albums, Tomlinson has very few solos and features, which has always upset his die-hard fans, myself included. Despite this, he may have contributed the most to the band in the form of songwriting.

On One Direction’s eighth anniversary in 2018, Tomlinson tweeted, “And remember if it’s by One Direction and it’s a banger I probably wrote on it”, really emphasizing his crucial role in the song creation aspect of the band’s music in his infamous snarky way. He has also grown into his voice much more since 2010, now singing confidently at his concerts and festivals.

Right now, Tomlinson is all over the internet due to press from his current Faith in the Future world tour. He is one of the most viewed music artists on TikTok and his albums are getting loads of streams every day. Buzz is still going around from his documentary release in March. Everyone loves seeing the behind-the-scenes content of touring and his relationships with his family and friends, especially the adorable one he has with his son Freddie. As someone who has been waiting for everyone to go into their Louis craze for a decade now, I love to see it.

I highly encourage you to go and listen to Tomlinson’s music, not only because I am a huge fan and love him, but also because his songs are extremely fun and have very positive, uplifting messages. He is very reflective about his time in One Direction and thankful for the opportunities he has been given in his music career. If you’re ever thinking about buying a ticket for his concert, do it! I recently saw him live for the first time this July in Tampa and it was such an amazing show, where he played almost every song from his most recent album, two One Direction songs, and an Arctic Monkeys song. He and his team are amazing when it comes to making tickets affordable for fans. He even has a music festival, The Away from Home Festival, that changes locations every year and is completely free to fans. So here’s to hoping it will be in North America next year!

Louis Tomlinson is notoriously very kind to fans and appreciates all the support he is given. So if you ever need a serotonin boost, just look up a video of him interacting with fans. He is just amazing. Go support him and all that he does. Listen to Walls and Faith in the Future, and buy that concert ticket! He deserves all the love. I’m already ready for a third album!

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Michaela Galligan is a second-year student at Florida State University originally from Tampa, FL. She is studying political science and editing, writing, & media studies with a minor in communications and hopes to one day enter the field of political journalism and reporting. She is passionate about politics, football, music, traveling, and all things FSU.