One Direction: Where Are They Now?

Okay, I’ll admit it. I was once one of those One Direction fans. And while I could go on a rant forever about how One Direction fans are unfairly perceived due to ingrained societal notions about the invalidity of the opinions of young girls (which is true, by the way), I can also face the facts. I was obsessed. There was a point in time where I knew the times that each member was born on. Like, to the minute. I can willingly own up to how insane that is. I cried for days when Zayn infamously left the band (March 25th is forever ruined for me, thanks Zayn). I’ve seen Harry Styles perform live more times than I’ve seen any other musician ever. So, with that confession out in the open, I figure now is an appropriate time to follow up with the predictable fact that, yes, I do still keep up with the band. When you’ve dedicated six-plus years to following their every move, it’s natural to still check in every now and then to see how they’re doing. I feel like that’s fair enough, and I feel obligated to my fifteen-year-old self. Seriously, how did I spend that many hours a day watching compilations of One Direction funny moments on Youtube? So, that being said, here’s an update for all who are interested in exactly what the former members of One Direction are up to today. Before they get back together, that is. Which is happening!!! One of these days… 


Harry Styles 

Harry is, I’ll confess, my favorite. Something about his incessant kindness, inability to answer a question without diving into a long-winded and abstract tangent (seriously, Google this, it’s so true), and bubbly stage presence have always drawn me to him. So, I’ve been keeping pretty serious tabs on his solo career. And he has a lot going on at the moment! This, partly, inspired me to write this article to begin with. 

Harry just released his first single in over two years, entitled “Lights Up.” It’s rhythmic and moving, emphasizing his powerful vocals while backed by a full choir. The song centers around the simple and mildly philosophical hook: “Do you know who you are?” a question that’s kept me up at night long before he dropped that single, by the way. Following the single release, he recently announced that his second solo album, Fine Line, will be out on December 13th, which cannot come soon enough, by the way. Until then, he’ll be both hosting and performing on SNL on November 16th and assumably putting out at least one more song from the album before the full thing’s out. In the meantime, you can fill your Harry Styles void by attempting to decode the song titles for his second album, which are cryptically posted on his website in a series of asterisks (ex: “Lights Up” = ****** **). See what I mean—he’s abstract! I’ll leave you to that decoding… 


Louis Tomlinson

Louis has dealt with an incredibly tough spell. Following the tragic loss of his mother, Johannah, in 2016, his younger sister Félicité also passed away this year. Louis has remained incredibly strong in the face of his family’s horrible losses, both caring for his family and releasing new music. He debuted his latest single, “We Made It,” on October 24th, which takes the form of an energetic British pop-rock ballad. Also this year, Tomlinson launched two other singles, “Kill My Mind” and “Two of Us”; the latter is a touching song in honor of his late mother. 

His debut album, Walls, will be released on January 31st. Following the album’s release, he’ll be embarking on a world tour, tickets for which are on sale now (hint hint)! This marks his first solo tour. 


Niall Horan

Niall, like Harry, just put out his debut single for his second album. The song, colloquially entitled “Nice To Meet Ya,” features Horan being wooed by a woman as he croons that he wants her phone number tattooed on his arm. Considering Horan is famously ink-free, this sounds like one lucky lady. Seriously though, the song is catchy and fun and is sure to set the tone for the rest of his album. 

Niall will be going on a North American tour in 2020 along with his best friend, British singer Lewis Capaldi. Tickets are being sold on November 8th, which, along with Louis’, will render me slightly broke. Worth it. 


Liam Payne

Liam is entering an incredibly busy spell in his career, and I, for one, could not be happier about it. His aptly titled first solo album, LP1, is set to be released on December 6th. LP standing for Liam Payne, 1 standing for his first album, in case his nuanced title went right over your head. His recently released single, entitled “Stack It Up,” was just followed by his very first Christmas song, “All I Want (For Christmas).” 

In the midst of his promotion spell for his rapidly approaching album release date, he just released a bodywear collaboration with Hugo Boss. This has been announced on social media via a flurry of pictures of Payne in his underwear, which is… yeah. I’ll leave that up to you on whether you’d like to explore that (on Instagram, @liampayne, you’re welcome). 


Zayn Malik

Zayn, up until about a month ago, had been keeping an incredibly low profile. Following his work on the live-action Aladdin soundtrack, on which he co-lab'ed with Zhavia to produce a new version of A Whole New World, he had kept relatively under the radar. Full disclosure, I’m still slightly bitter about the whole quitting One Direction thing, so I haven’t been following his career with as much enthusiasm as the other guys. That being said, he did bring my middle-school self a lot of joy, so for that reason, I do care about what he gets up to. Which, as of recently, is a lot! 

Just a few days ago, Zayn remixed SHAED’s hit single “Trampoline,” which is incredibly catchy (you may recognize it from the seemingly ubiquitous Apple commercials if it’s not ringing any bells yet). Just before that, he had another collaboration with Sabrina Claudio in a tantalizing single called “Rumors.” He also has just taken to social media to tease what’s presumably a new single called “Flames,” featuring R3hab and Jungleboi. 


So, there you have it, folks. It’s a very busy time to be a One Direction fan. With all of my money in the next few months going toward their albums and concert tickets, it’s probably clear to everyone reading (and painfully clear to myself) that my One Direction “phase” is not over. So, if any of my readers are considering hopping on the bandwagon, or are former fans considering returning back to said bandwagon, go for it! Take this article as a sign. Being a fan is a good time, and, while incredibly time- and money-consuming, there’s something about the band that can bring you joy even on your worst days. Basically, start streaming some former-boy-band singles! I’ll love you forever for it. 

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