Niall Horan isn’t Zayn Malik. His footsteps away from One Direction are following the solo career visions like the one who started before him. Zayn departed in March 2015 from the wildfire-fandom boy band group One Direction. Within the five years of existence for One Direction, the group didn’t quit. They released five albums, held successive tours, and constantly fed their buffs and media outlets spunky, boyish appeal. It was clear that they were five boys, not men, who entranced teen girls on the first note. Popularity was at hand. It was boy band wildfire.
After you sprint a race, Zayn’s departure was almost like your first baby steps. The band had been steamrolling forward, selling out arenas, and all the while, nothing appeared to be “going wrong” for One Direction. The people ate this up, but all the while, the sneaking suspicion of “too good to be true” nabbed from a common sense standpoint. Zayn’s breakaway five years after the group formation was a shock. Zayn had been sprinting; he was exhausted of presenting a boy-band character unlike his authentic self. This is when he walked away from the band.
Where did that leave the remaining four? Shocked and pretty heartbroken along with their supporters. Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne remained. After releasing a post-Zayne album and surging forward, the group made a healthy choice that sadly opened the Zayn questions. August 2015 saw an One Direction statement regarding a hiatus. They wouldn’t be touring for their fifth album. Buffs were left assuming the inevitable: a complete split of the group was bound to be next.
Yet, now deep into 2016, the foursome is still holding true to a reunion, and their relationships with Zayn are amicable. The hiatus did leave Zayn’s paved route to a solo career open. Each of the four now have the chance to to amble down that path with their free time. Niall Horan was the first one. It’s been about a month since Horan’s single “This Town” dropped, and media started to discuss a new 1D member making solo marks on his profession. Zayn did very little promotion around his singles or album this year. In fact, the singer cancelled performances, which allowed for a concentration on his music. Nonetheless, it left fans wondering why the enigma and closed-off persona.
Niall Horan seems to need the listener to get to understand who he’s as a person but also as an artist. The goofy Halloween remix of Ginuwine’s “Pony” with James Corden revealed his lighthearted spirit from One Direction. The ‘Would You’ game with Ellen revealed his regard for ex Ellie Goulding, as the singer decided on her multiple times over other stars. It seems typical – making the rounds on televised shows, hyping up future releases, showing “the actual person” behind the acclaim.
Horan has demonstrated he’s exactly the guy that his fans fell in love with in One Direction. The lowly, sensitive, laidback sweeatheart is the artist to expect from his solo career. A different tactic was taken by Zayn. In early 2016, Zayn dropped his first solo album ‘Mind of Mine’ after his abrupt departure and somewhat radio silence on the PR front, and let the music speak for itself. The drama and intrigue are what attracted focus after the split, and his new record did superbly well. Horan has had success with his first single, too, but there is a big contrast between the singers.
Zayn’s and Horan ’s first singles reveal the contrast more accurately than anything else. Zayn released “PiLlOwTAlK” late January of 2016, about a month or so before the release of Thoughts of Mine. Though fans got a sneak peak at the cover art, the song and vibe of Zayn’s solo work was quite close. “PiLlOwTAlK,” with its illogical lettering style and hot lyrics, epitomized who Zayn would be for the rest of 2016. He jabbed at his One Direction career after the split, saying he wasn’t into specific parts of the character and the artistic limitations that came with boy band stardom. Limits meaning occasionally lyrical, meaning he couldn’t really write about sex.
Well, his solo career assaulted the unearthed issue and summarized the artistic matter in a completely new manner for his fans. He sings, “A place that is so pure, so dirty and raw. Be in the bed all day, bed all day, bed all day, fucking and fighting on. It’s our paradise, and it’s our war zone.” His single dove deep into sexy, grown-up music. The whole album followed this daring, bad boy statement. Zayn’s music eventually caught up with his tat-sleeved, “tall dark, and handsome” image. As he’s shirtless the vocalist’s website backgrounds are intense, steamy pictures of Zayn’s tats. Whatever James Dean traits he was covering up during his boy band days are aired out for the world to take in. His picture’s bark might be bigger than its bite, but Zayn’s solo career has definitely already paid off.
Horan’s first single is the white comparison to Zayn’s black. “This Town” is nostalgic, sentimental, heart-wrenching. The chorus states, “‘Cause if the whole world was watching, I’d still dance with you. Drive highways and byways to be there with you. Over and over, the only truth: everything comes back to you.” His sweetheart style and the emotional receptiveness make the adorable Irish vocalist into a star. The single is slow and in touch with a love predicament that listeners will manage to relate to. The feeling of not being over someone or considering the past is a standard issue that Horan uses to describe his susceptibility as an artist.
Horan’s approach to the beginning of his solo career is very different than Zayn’s. Though both have been successful so far, it really is an ode to who each artist is behind the One Direction masks.