The making of One Direction
It began in July 2010 at auditions for the UK’s X Factor were underway. Five young boys from various parts of the UK and Ireland had entered the competition with nothing else but a passion for singing and raw talent. Their names were Niall from Westmeath, Ireland, Zayn from Bradford, Liam from Wolverhampton, Harry from Cheshire and Louis from Doncaster and they all had entered as solo artists. Arriving at their individual auditions, they were given the task of impressing the judges. And they did. But just not quite how we imagined.
It was in the Bootcamp round of the competition that Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh had to give the boys the bad news that they hadn’t made it through as solo artists. They were devastated naturally, but they were offered a suggestion. The judges wanted them to form a group; to learn to sing as a five-piece rather than individuals. The boys jumped at the opportunity and One Direction was born.
Zayn Malik says, “I didn’t think I would ever want to be in a group. But when I was there and it was happening, and I knew the lads a bit, there was no way I was going to say ‘no’. We’ve all got quite different sounding voices and our own individual style, so we can play up to that and play to each of our strengths.“
Louis Tomlinson adds, “To start off with it was difficult because we all had our egos and we wanted to get ourselves across in the group. It was tough. Now, we’re literally like five best friends.”
Four months the boys were impressing an average of 16 million viewers with their performances each weekend. They sang world-famous tracks like Kim Wilde’s Kids In America, Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars. They confidence rocketed and the country kept on voting for them to stay in the competition. It was clear that the UK were falling in love with the band!
In the final, the boys were given the opportunity to perform with singer Robbie Williams. He backed their bid to win and wished the awe-struck boys the best.
On 12 December 2010, One Direction were crowned the third place winners of The X Factor 2010, and although they hadn’t come in first, it was clear they had already attracted a huge fan base. In the run up to their win, hundreds of girls would wait outside the TV studios in London just to get a glimpse of their favourite new group. There was no way this new group could be ignored.
However, the boys, kept their feet on the ground. They hadn’t won the series and didn’t know if they could find the support to keep making music, although by now, disbanding was not an option as they had come so far and were great friends.
Louis Tomlinson explains, “We came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all. But by the time we came to the end of the show, we were a completely different group. We worked so hard, and achieved so much. We also became really close mates, we’re just all so grateful that we got along so well from the start.”
Niall Horan, born 13 September 1993 in Mullingar, Country Westmeath, Ireland, was born to Maura and Bobby Horan. He has an older brother, Greg. Their parents divorced when he was five. He was a student at Coláiste reMhui, a boys Christian Brothers school. Horan gained singing experience in the school choir, performing seasonally at Christmas. Prior to participating in X Factor, he performed around his homeland, including as a support act for Lloyd Daniels in Dublin. Niall has been playing guitar since childhood. In an interview he referred to his guitar as “the best present I ever received for Christmas.” He added his parents took note of his singing during a car trip, “my aunt said she thought the radio was on. Exactly the same thing happened to Michael Bublé with his dad. He’s my absolute hero so I like the fact we have a similar story.
Niall Horan also stated that in his hometown, he was often referred to as the “Irish Justin Bieber.” He didn’t mind the comparison. In 2010, Horan auditioned as a solo candidate for the seventh series of The X Factor, performing “So Sick“, and receiving mixed comments from the judges present at his audition, with Louis Walsh in his favor. Two other judges voiced doubts about his abilities but with three votes out of four, he was sent to boot camp where he sang “Champagne Supernova“. He failed to qualify for the “Boys” category and so was put in One Direction. On forming One Direction, Horan said: “we were given five minutes to go away and decide if we wanted to do it, but we knew we were in. We were jumping up and down and we were all a bit giddy.
When auditioning for The X Factor, he said “I’m 16 and I want to be a big name like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber,” he said. “I’ve been compared to him a few times and it’s not a bad comparison. I want to sell out arenas, make an album and work with some of the best artists in the world. Niall Horan said, “I was always the kid that picked up the nearest instrument and just loved music.” He has also stated that he is a “big swing” fan, noting older and current artists Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Michael Bublé among his influences. Niall also cites rock music among his influences, he is a fan of The Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Script. Additionally he cites recording artist Ed Sheeran as an influence. When Sheeran and One Direction collaborated on the song “Moments” for their debut album, he said it as an honor to work with him.
In 2012, Horan revealed that he has had a fear of birds, known as ornithophobia, since he was attacked by a pigeon while on the toilet as a child. In interview with OK! Magazine Horan said, “I’ve not actually been on too many dates. I just like sitting at home, chilling and watching a movie. He also said that he is better at understanding females than others, adding: “I’m an emotional guy, so I don’t have to worry about that”.
Zain “Zayn” Malik, born 12 January 1993 in St. Luke’s Hospital, is from West Lane, Bradford, England. Born to an English mother, Tricia Brannan, and British Pakistani father Yaser Malik, he has three sisters Doniya, Waliyha and Safaa.
He grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city center. Zayn Malik was a pupil at Lower Fields Primary School in East Bowling and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school. He stated that as a child “I was a bit of a handful when I was a kid because I was quite hyperactive. Even in the house my mum used to put me in my pram because I was so full-on.” Malik didn’t fit in at his first two schools due to his mixed heritage, revealing that when he and his sister changed schools he felt better.
In 2010, Malik auditioned as a solo candidate for the seventh series of The X Factor. His audition was initially not broadcast, but was shown after the series ended on companion show The Xtra Factor. Malik was noted for becoming nervous in bootcamp, and when he was told he had to dance, he decided to remain backstage, effectively risking elimination. Simon Cowell noticed Malik missing from the dance routine and went backstage and convinced him to return.
At bootcamp Malik failed to qualify for the “Boys” category and was put in One Direction. On auditioning for the X Factor, Malik, said “I was looking for an experience”. He cites urban music as his main musical influence. Growing up, he was into R&B and rap. For his X Factor audition, he performed the R&B song “Let Me Love You“. He as well as the other members of One Direction furthered artists such as Bruno Mars, as a “Dream Collaborator“. Malik dated fellow X Factor contestant, Rebecca Ferguson, which caused controversy due to the six year age difference. The relationship ended after four months together. In November 2011, Ferguson addressed the media interest, saying: “When I was in a relationship with Zayn it was quite hard. Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best.
Zayn Malik likes to draw cartoons and collect comic books, ‘I’m into comic books,’ he told Vevo Lift. “I used to collect them when I was younger, it’s quite a geeky thing I think. Zayn smokes cigarettes too. In late 2011, Metro reported that his New Years’ resolution was to quit smoking, saying “I definitely want to quit smoking. I need to do it.
He has ten tattoos: a Yin Yang on his wrist, a picture of crossed fingers on his forearm, his grandfather’s name Walter in Arabic on his chest, a “born lucky” symbol, a playing card on his stomach, a silver fern on his neck and an inscription across his collarbone.
Liam Payne, born 29 August 1993, is from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, born three weeks early to Karen and Geoff, he has two older sisters, Ruth and Nicola. Until the age of four, Payne had regular tests done in hospital as doctors noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, he had 32 injections in his arm in the morning and evening as a child.
He described himself as a “naughty boy at school.” He tried out for teams, eventually finding his place on the cross-country team and coming in first. “From then on I was training all the time and getting up at 6 am to run for miles. At the age of 12 they put me in the school’s under-18s team.” Liam Payne was bullied in school and took up boxing lessons, saying he “needed to find a way to defend myself, I was, at 12 years old, fighting the 38-year-old trainer. I broke my nose, had a perforated eardrum and I was always coming home with a bruised, puffy face. But it gave me confidence. I got pretty good over the next couple of years.
Liam was a music technology student at City of Wolverhampton College. Payne first auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor’s fifth series when he was fourteen. He made it to the judges’ houses, but Simon Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back in two years. In 2010, Payne returned and auditioned with “Cry Me a River“, receiving a standing ovation from the audience and Cowell. At bootcamp, he sang “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” before being rejected and put into One Direction.
On the experience, Payne says “Normally when you put together a band they have some time to go away and do development but we had to do it on a live competition, in front of 20 million people. If you make a mistake in front of an audience like that, you get voted out. We had no room for error whatsoever. We had to grow up very fast.
Payne cites pop star Justin Timberlake as one of his biggest influences. He also says he draws inspiration from Take That member Gary Barlow when performing. Regarding his one functional kidney Payne said “I have to be careful not to drink too much, even water, and I have to keep myself as healthy as possible. He is currently in a relationship with, Sophia Smith.
Harry Styles, born 1 February 1994 in Evesham, Worcestershire, is from village Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England. He is a former pupil at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, a state comprehensive school. Born to Anne and Des Styles, he has an older sister, Gemma, he was seven when their parents divorced; his mother later remarried to Robin Twist. Regarding his parents divorce he said, “that was quite a weird time. I remember crying about it. I didn’t really get what was going on properly, I was just sad that my parents wouldn’t be together any more.”
Following the divorce, Styles, his older sister and his mother moved further out into the Cheshire countryside. At the age of 12 the family moved back to Holmes Chapel. That was when his mother met his stepfather Robin Twist. Styles said he was “really pleased” when Twist proposed to his mother.
As a child he loved singing. Styles was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo with band members lead guitarist Haydn Morris, bass guitarist Nick Clough and drummer Will Sweeny. They had entered a local Battle of the Bands, which they won. In 2010, Styles auditioned for The X Factor with “Isn’t She Lovely“, receiving positive comments from two of the three judges, with Louis Walsh having doubts on whether he was ready to progress in the competition. At bootcamp, he sang “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” before being rejected and put into One Direction. Harry Styles came up with band name One Direction, as he thought it would sound good when The X Factor announcer Peter Dickson read their name out on the live shows aloud. Tomlinson added “Harry texted us to ask what we thought and it was one of those where we all just said, ‘Yes’ straight away.
We all entered the competition with one thing in mind and that was to go to the top. And it can be abbreviated to 1D! Styles said that The X Factor gave him a lot more confidence. As a child, Styles loved singing, noting Elvis Presley as one of his influences. He also cites Presley for his musical beginnings. Styles also likes more current music by Foster the People, Coldplay and Kings of Leon. “We want to have a little bit heavier guitars, bigger drums, more of a live feel, because that’s what we like doing,” Styles wants for their next album, though he says that shouldn’t be misinterpreted to mean the group is going “grungier”. “Because we are 18 years old, it’s important that we like what we’re doing as well. It wouldn’t be good if we weren’t liking what we’re doing, and we are.
Harry says that he often looks to Coldplay’s front man, Chris Martin, for inspiration when performing on stage. Styles also states that The Beatles had a profound influence on him growing up, as his father always played their music. “I still listen to their music over and over again. They are absolute icons and an inspiration,” he says. Styles states that he likes being nude, citing it as “very liberating, I feel so free.
He briefly dated English television presenter Caroline Flack, which caused widespread media controversy over their fifteen-year age gap. Due to his friendship with Tomlinson, they are to referred to the portmanteau “Larry Stylinson” by their fans. Harry Styles spoke to Vevo lift on the latter saying, “the fans call me and Louis Larry Stylinson, because we get on so well. Since we started at the X Factor house, me and Louis had always said that we wanted to move in together. And that was pretty much it. It just sort of happened.
Louis Tomlinson, born 24 December 1991, is from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. Born to Johanna and Mark Tominson, he has four younger sisters: Charlotte, Félicité, and twins Daisy and Phoebe. Their parents separated in 2011. He said growing up, he always wanted a little brother but having four younger sisters taught him a lot about women. He added “having that many little sisters has definitely helped me with children too, people always comment on how comfortable I am around kids. I absolutely love babies and kids.” When Daisy and Phoebe had roles as babies on a show called Fat Friends, he would go along and serve as an extra.
After Fat Friends, he attended an acting school in Barnsley. He had small roles in anITV1 drama called If I Had You, and BBC’s Waterloo Road.
He was a sixth form student at Hall Cross School, a state comprehensive school, and a former pupil of the Hayfield School. He revealed that he failed in his first year of A levels at the Hayfield School, “mainly because I’d been too busy having fun. I was out all the time in that first year.” He ended up going back to Hall Cross and started A levels over again.
As a student at Hall Cross, Louis Tomlinson starred in several musical productions. In 2010, Tomlinson auditioned as a solo candidate for the seventh series of The X Factor. Tomlinson auditioned with the song “Hey There Delilah“, receiving votes from all three judges. At bootcamp, he sang “Make You Feel My Love” before being rejected and put into One Direction. Regarding his time on The X Factor he said “we were given five minutes to make up our mind and we all said ‘Do you want to do it?’ Everyone said yes, and that was it. There was no question, go home as a solo or stay in as a group.’
We were gutted when we didn’t win. But then we just started to reflect on it and we thought, we were the last group there, the youngest in the competition, and we didn’t even know each other months ago. And when you look at it like that, I think we did really well. Some people say X Factor’s an easy ride and a queue jump to fame. But we came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all. And for me, by the time we came to the end of the show, we were a completely different group. We worked so hard, and achieved so much.
On choosing to audition for The X Factor, he cites his lead role in a high school production of Grease. He cites English recording artist and Take That member Robbie Williams as his biggest influence. He said that Williams was his idol growing up. In an interview with Now Magazine he says he was star-struck when he met Williams in 2010 on The X Factor. “I’ve always loved Robbie. “He’s just so cheeky, he can get away with anything. His performances are unbelievable. We met a lot of celebrities on The X Factor and he was one of the nicest.
He also mentions recording artist Ed Sheeran, describing the artist as “phenomenal. In an interview, he mentioned pop superstar Michael Jackson as a “real inspiration” saying “I am a big Michael Jackson fan. He was a real inspiration and had so many great songs. .
4 May, 2016
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