- One Direction shot to stardom in 2010 after competing on “The X Factor” and went on hiatus in 2015.
- Zayn Malik has said he made no friends while in One Direction and didn’t like their music.
- Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have spoken about a possible reunion, but have not given details.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The band was formed in 2010 on the UK version of “The X Factor” and it is comprised of five guys who auditioned as solo artists. The members include Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson.
After years of reaching milestones and breaking records, the band started to slow down. In early 2015, it was announced on Facebook that Zayn Malik would be leaving the band. The four remaining members released a final album and announced an extended hiatus in August 2015.
Since the announcement of the so-called hiatus, members have gone on to pursue solo interests and have commented on potential reunions as well as their current relationships with their bandmates.
Here’s everything members of One Direction have said about the band and each other since announcing their hiatus:
“Whenever I would suggest something, it was like it didn’t fit us. There was just a general conception that the management already had of what they want for the band and I just wasn’t convinced with what we were selling,” he told the publication.
He said he wasn’t 100% behind the band’s music and that the group was recording what they were told would sell.
He told Rolling Stone, “That’s not music I would listen to …Would you listen to One Direction at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man.”
“As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I want to make music that I think is cool s—. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for,” he added.
Many fans interpreted this as a jab at One Direction’s discography, feeling as though Malik meant to imply the music he had previously made with One Direction was fake or not quite up to his standards.
“I think I always wanted to go, from like the first year, really,” he told the interviewer. “I never really wanted to be there, like in the band.”
“I realized the direction we were going in — mind the pun — with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me because I realized I couldn’t put any input in,” he added.
That same year, he told Billboard that he doesn’t really talk to anyone in the band anymore.
“Our relationships have definitely changed since we were in a band together, but I think that’s just life,” Malik told the publication. “Everybody grows up — two of the guys have got kids now. But no, I don’t talk to any of them, really.”
This came as a surprise to fans because in the Facebook post announcing his departure, Malik wrote that he had “four friends for life.”
In contrast to the pop music of One Direction was known for producing, Malik released an R&B album in 2016.
He discussed the band’s sudden rise to fame and rigorous touring schedule saying, “I think back to the performances towards the end when we were in stadiums — I wasn’t really ever able to enjoy the experience. The machine had gone too fast.”
Since the band’s split, he has been relatively quiet about his relationships with the other members of One Direction, but he has mentioned his distant relationship with one member in particular, Malik.
In a 2017 profile for Rolling Stone, Styles responded to Malik saying One Direction’s music wasn’t “cool.”
“I think it’s a shame he felt that way … but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you’re not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I’m glad he’s doing what he likes, and good luck to him,” said Styles.
Styles went on to entertain ideas of a future reunion, saying, “I love the band and would never rule out anything in the future. The band changed my life, gave me everything.”
By swapping out Malik’s name with Ringo Starr’s, Styles referenced how Malik was the first person to leave One Direction — sort of how Starr was technically the first member to leave The Beatles.
“I don’t know if I could say it’s something he shouldn’t have done. I just didn’t feel that way. So, it’s hard for me to condemn it, ’cause I don’t,” he said on “The Howard Stern Show,” according to E!. “Especially in hindsight looking at it now, the last thing that I would’ve wanted is for him to have stayed there if he didn’t want to be there.”
In the caption, he wrote, “I’ve been struggling to put into words how grateful I am for everything that’s happened over the last ten years. I’ve seen things and places that I’d only ever dreamt of when I was growing up. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most incredible people, and gained friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
He continued, “None of this would be possible without the support you’ve given along the way. And for that, I will be forever thankful. I just can’t believe it’s been ten years. Thank you to our crew, our team, and everyone else who helped us along the way.
“To all the fans, I love you, and I thank you with all my heart. You did it all, and you changed everything. And finally.. to the boys, I love you so much, and I couldn’t be prouder of everything we achieved together. Here’s to ten. H”.
“I think the typical thing is to come out of a band like that and almost feel like you have to apologize for being in it,” Styles told Vogue. “But I loved my time in it. It was all new to me, and I was trying to learn as much as I could.”
He added, “I wanted to soak it in … I think that’s probably why I like traveling now—soaking stuff up.”
He also commented on the notion that many bands that split end up with just one breakout star.
“When you look at the history of people coming out of bands and starting solo careers, they feel this need to apologize for being in the band. ‘Don’t worry, everyone, that wasn’t me! Now I get to do what I really want to do.’ But we loved being in the band,” he said.
He continued, “I think there’s a wont to pit people against each other. And I think it’s never been about that for us. It’s about a next step in evolution.”
Styles also said that seeing how he and his fellow bandmates have achieved so many different things “says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”
In 2017, he told The Guardian, “In the last year of One Direction, I was probably the most confident I ever was. And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!'”
In 2017, he told The Guardian, “I couldn’t say to you now that I could definitely get a superstar writer in a session with me,” later adding, “Harry [Styles] won’t struggle with any of that.”
Styles has collaborated with Stevie Nicks, Ariana Grande, and Kacey Musgraves; Malik has collaborated with artists like Taylor Swift and Sia; Horan has worked with Julia Michaels and Maren Morris; and Payne has worked with stars like Rita Ora and Zedd.
In a later interview with “Build” that same year, the singer said he wasn’t really ready for the band to go on a break.
“It surprised me to a certain degree, so I didn’t have any plan in place or anything like that,” he added. “I think I just thought that I was going to carry on writing for other people, but not necessarily for myself.”
He said he ended up writing a lot of songs and liking some, so he decided to pursue a solo singing career.
He said all of his former bandmates except for Malik came to see him perform. Tomlinson later spoke about the incident on the “The Dan Wootton Interview” podcast in 2019.
“… All the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn’t show so that really bugged me … It was just seeing everyone there — Harry, Niall, and Liam — that was what I needed that night, that support,” he said. “So on the other end of the spectrum it kind of really showed.”
“I just don’t think I am mature enough, even in my own head, to give that a real answer. At the moment, I am still pretty mad about the whole thing,” he told the publication.
“I don’t think [Zayn] handled it very well. But never say never. Who knows? He chatted a lot of s— in the early days. I thought One Direction were pretty good,” he added.
In terms of reuniting One Direction, he told the publication he’s not exactly opposed to the idea — but that there is sort of a time limit.
“Anything over 30 sounds f—— old to me right now,” he said.
This gives the band about two years or so to reunite seeing as the singer is currently 28 years old and will turn 29 on December 24 of this year.
He explained that he absolutely loves the band and still misses his time with his former bandmates.
“First, I absolutely f—ing love the band. I’m super proud about where I’ve come from. At the end of the day, I’m from Doncaster, and the band gave me such a nice opportunity,” he told the publication.”
He also said he thinks it’s a “desperate attempt to try and get cool points” when people leave their bands and trash talk it afterward.
“I f—ing love the boys, and I love everything we’ve done together. And I still miss my time with them. I think any of the boys would be lying if they said otherwise. It was a special time in our lives, definitely,” he added.
In the caption, he wrote, “Our first ever photo together. The memories we’ve shared together have been incredible. Can’t believe its been 10 years already. I look back incredibly proud. Thanks for everything lads and love to you the fans as always x”.
He also tweeted, “Too many incredible memories to mention but not a day goes by that I don’t think about how amazing it was. @NiallOfficial @Harry_Styles @LiamPayne @zaynmalik . So proud of you all individually.”
He also thanked fans for all of their support and wrote, “Miss it every day!”
He said Styles’ single “Sign of the Times”‘ is not “[his] sort of music” and isn’t something he’d listen to but he respects Harry’s taste and thinks he “did a great job of doing what he wanted to do.”
“He’d say the same thing about me,” Payne said of Styles. Payne creates hip-hop-style music whereas Style’s solo tracks have classic-rock vibes.
Payne said Horan’s solo single “This Town” was “great.”
Corden’s band apparently had a slogan, which Payne followed up with “[One Direction] never had a slogan, but if we had, Zayn might have stayed.”
The fan reportedly shared two screenshots of conflicting reports of a reunion tour, asking Payne if he could make up his mind.
Payne responded by writing, “Can people stop passing blame to me about this I get asked this ridiculous question 500x a day (exaggeration)… so I just say whatever guess I have at the time… but still this band has 3 other members you want the answer ask them.”
He also spoke about how the group’s fame took a toll on him and impacted his mental health.
“When you’re doing hundreds and hundreds of [concerts] and it’s the same 22 songs at the same time every single day, even if you’re not happy, you’ve got to go out there,” he told the publication. “It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed (drunk) quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on.”
He said it was fun but parts of being famous and being on tour “just got a little bit toxic.”
“From the first song off his album, I feel like me and Harry could do a really cool song together,” he said on the show, speaking of Styles’ album “Fine Line” and the first single from it, “Lights Up.”
“There could be a good mix between the two things because the first song was kind of funky so I feel like we could break down into some sort of hip-hop-R&B thing halfway though, and have like a little megamix,” Payne explained.
“I speak to Louis quite regularly,” he told the publication. “And I feel like I know where I stand with Niall.”
“But with Harry, there’s so much mystery around who he’s become. I was looking at some pictures of him the other day, and I just thought: ‘I don’t know what more I’d say to him other than, ‘Hello’ and ‘How are you?'” I mean, look at the stuff I put out and the stuff Harry puts out. Polar opposite,” he added, referencing Styles’ soft-rock music and his own hip-hop-oriented work.
“I’m like the anti-christ version of what Harry is,” he told the publication.
“‘I think we will for sure. I don’t know when that is yet, but all I know is that there are at least two years because everyone’s released new music and you have to go and promo. There are at least two years,” he added.
He also seemed to allude that he didn’t get along with everyone in the band.
“We literally for five years we were in each other’s pockets,” he said. “The thing I always describe it as is if you imagine an office — and One Direction was my office — there’s one person you don’t really get along with, one person you don’t know very much about, one person you hang out with all the time, and someone you’re sort of friends with.”
“New teams, new managers, new labels. Building those working relationships can be tricky. You also become the boss of your own s—, and I was 21, 22 when I first started doing my own thing, so it’s all a bit scary and can be a bit lonely,” he told the publication, saying the process is a lot of fun, too.
“Now the band members have all worked our way through this first couple of years, you can kind of see everyone’s finding their own feet. Take Harry [Styles] at the moment. You know, he’s just found what I think is his sound and exactly where he wants to be, which took him a little minute to get into since he had his last album out,” he added.
The singer also mentioned that a few years after the band went on a break, he went into therapy to cope.
“That first therapy session and being like, ‘I don’t even know what I like or anything about myself’ — it was pretty scary stuff,” he told GQ.
“Being in One Direction was such a schoolyard mentality somehow — the One Direction University, I call it. Everyone has stuff they’ve said at parties they wished they hadn’t but, for us, the difference was that it was all happening in front of the world,” Payne told GQ.
He said now that he’s older, certain things don’t bother him as much but Malik leaving the band was tough.
“I think with Zayn’s particular exit and the way he chose to go, we haven’t really heard from him since he left. He didn’t even say goodbye, if I am being honest. It was a really sordid scenario, from our side certainly. A bit strange. It’s difficult,” he added.
“We spoke about a number of things, we hadn’t seen each other for three years. Literally I hadn’t seen him once, we hadn’t spoken or anything. He was pretty much the same boy that I left him. We spoke about kids and happiness and all sorts of stuff,” he told Cohen.
Later on in the game, Payne chose to stay mum about reports that he dated supermodel Naomi Campbell, which then forced him to answer a question about which member of 1D is the “most well-endowed.”
“I’d have to say myself, I’m going to say me. That’s almost like pleading the Fifth,” he said.
The singer said he wasn’t sure how many details he was allowed to share yet, and he did not say whether or not Malik will be involved in this special project.
“We’ve got a 10-year anniversary coming up so we’ve all been speaking together a lot over the last few weeks which has been really nice,” Payne told the publication.
“To hear a lot of people’s voices and seeing old content and different things that we haven’t seen for a long time or never seen before, it’s very interesting,” he added, noting that it’s been really great to connect with his bandmates again.
He said he tried to reach out to Malik, but got to a point where he “wouldn’t know where to begin.”
“I hope he has good people around him, but I don’t at this stage think it’s anything the rest of us can solve,” Payne added.
“He likes to make songs and his songs do very well but, at the same time, he doesn’t really like to go out and perform the songs,” Payne said of Malik, adding that his former bandmate isn’t a huge fan of “doing the press stuff” that often comes with being a musician.
“I remember Zayn telling us the story that it was his mum got him to go to the audition the day he didn’t want to go and that was literally what we saw all the way through One Direction,” Payne added, referencing Malik’s reluctance to appear on “The X Factor” in the first place.
“I don’t know why it was so confusing to me that Niall was from Ireland because I just was thinking, “How is this gonna work he’s from a whole other country, he’s not even nearby … ,” Payne recalled.
“We decided that we would measure each other heights because that’s how it would be in photos of who would be in the middle,” he added.
The “Strip That Down” singer also said the boys had trouble deciding who would sing which parts and no one wanted to make “cut-throat decisions.” Because of this, the group ended up singing together for a lot of the performances.
“So we all used to do it in unison, which was the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” he added.
He also shared a text message he sent to his dad, which read, “Im in a boyband”.
“My eyes are kind of gold, do you reckon this one’s about me?” he joked. “… It could be about me, we just don’t know it yet.”
The singer bopped his head to the song and even sang along to some parts.
“I like this. Yeah, it’s cool,” he said. ” … 10 out of 10, I like it a lot.”
“After the band we didn’t speak for a long time, actually, and then I remember seeing him, it was actually at a Jingle Bell Ball, backstage for the first time in a long time,” he said, per Entertainment Tonight. “He’s still the same guy he always was when we left each other in that dressing room as the band kind of stopped for a little bit.”
Payne also spoke about the Vogue magazine cover where Styles wore a dress. He said he “thought it was great.”
Shortly after the show, Payne shared a One Direction meme to his Instagram story with a picture of young One Direction in leather next to Styles in leather during his Grammy performance.
“Congrats @hshq on your Grammy win. What a huge moment, proud to be your brother,” he wrote.
The singer said he did have “moments of suicidal ideation” and dealt with taking pills and drinking alcohol. He said he quit after seeing unflattering photos of himself in the press.
“There were a few pictures of me on a boat and I was all bloated out and I call it pills-and-booze face,” Payne said. ” … I just didn’t like myself very much.”
He said he dealt with a lot during the band’s peak fame — and even one of One Direction’s former managers went to therapy because they were the band’s manager. He also turned to alcohol.
“In the band, the best way to secure us, because of how big we’d got, was just lock us in our rooms. Of course, What’s in the room? A mini-bar,” he added. “So at a certain point I thought, I’m going to have a party for one and that seemed to carry on for many years of my life.”
He said it was his only way to get his frustration out during the day.
Payne also mentioned recently talking about therapy and revelations with Tomlinson. He said he still struggles to be alone and has been sober for a month.
He did say that he met Payne’s son, Bear, and brought him gifts. He also mentioned that he’d been to see one of Styles’ solo gigs and got a drink with him.
He also mentioned a possible band reunion in that interview, saying, “It’s only been like two years or whatever so I’m not worried about it. I’m not rushing it and I’m not worried that it won’t happen.”
He said, “You’re sitting in an airport lounge, they call you for a plane, and you don’t stand up initially because you’re waiting on everyone else, you know? ‘Oh, Louis’ll be back from the toilet in a minute.'”
He also spoke about his plans to hang out with Styles and Payne and shrugged off questions about Malik’s shady comments: “I know what Zayn’s like — outspoken, and fair play to him.”
“We don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to, but we try. I talk to Louis a lot. It’s the lads with the kids that you try to keep in touch with especially, just to see how they are,” he added.
“It’s weird. We never do that. They all text when it comes out, but beforehand, no. We’ll be chatting away, but we never say, ‘What do you think of this?'” he said, adding that it has nothing to do with competition.
Horan explained that they don’t even tell one another when they’re planning to release music, so they end up “bombarding the charts at the same time.”
“People keep saying to me, ‘Is that some sort of publicity stunt, that you’ve all had albums out at the same time?’ Literally, no. [It’s] because we’re all used to that same cycle. You bring out a song around September or October and then an album at the end of the year, then tour the year after. That’s what we did in the band,” he added.
He continued, “It’s such a major part of our lives and always will be. Cheers to US today boys and thank you to all you beautiful people who have supported us over the last 10 years.”
He also tagged his bandmates and added a heart emoji to the caption.
“It sounds mad even saying it. We’d done two years of stadiums and it was kind of like there. So where do you go now without messing it up? There’s no conversation of, ‘Let’s leave it 20 years,'” he said.
He continued, “It was just very much like, let’s not book anything we’re all knackered. We’d been working flat-out since we were 16, 17 years old.”
The Irish singer said he had mixed feelings about the band going on hiatus, noting he would’ve loved “a couple years off” but shortly after the hiatus he ended up recording solo music because he missed the studio and the “buzz” of doing interviews and photoshoots.
He added, “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, whether with the lads or not.”