When British teenagers Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan were eliminated as solo entries from music reality show, X Factor in July 2010, they saw their dreams of a singing career crushing in front on their eyes. But the worst was never meant to be. The show’s judges Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh recommended that they form a band and enter the show as a group.
“We had never crossed paths before we found ourselves competing against each other as soloists on X Factor. Yet, just a few short months later, thanks to an amazing twist of fate, we are now embarking on a career that is sure to turn global, working with some of the greatest producers in the music industry today, “ says 18-year-old Liam.
Their debut single, ‘What makes you beautiful…’ topped the UK singles chart in September last year, and the band also went on to share their story through three books, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), One Direction: The Official Annual 2012 and Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction.
Ask them how life has changed over the past year, and Liam says, “My first thought was, are we going to make this work when we don't know each other? It was such a leap of faith.” Adds Harry, who is 17, “Simon Cowell would tells us ‘Your life was about to change!’ It was weird.”
And where do they see themselves five years from now? Replies Louis Tomlinson, “In the coming years, I want people to listen to our music and say, ‘Wow, is that One Direction?’. It’s not too cheesy, so I think our music will be liked by guys as well as girls.” The band’s debut album, Up All Night, released by Sony Music, will be out in India in February.
Despite losing out on pursuing independent careers, none of the members regret it now. “We came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all. We worked so hard, and achieved so much. We also became really close mates. Even when we go home now or have a day off, we’re still texting each other,” says Liam. Their success has been followed by immense fame back home. But the boys maintain that they don’t let it get to them. “Oh it’s awesome, but we all have our feet grounded,” he adds.