November 08, 2019
With only Harry Styles troubling the upper reaches of the singles chart, perhaps it’s time the 1D lads got the band back together
‘New entry at 84’: why are One Directions solo careers stalling?
In recent weeks, all five members of boyband behemoth One Direction – now nearly four years into their “hiatus” – have released solo singles. Out of those five, only one has so far reached the UK Top 30, with Harry Styles’s Zayn-esque Lights Up entering at a not-too-disrespectful No 3. For everyone else, it looks like a rapid fall from grace: lovely Niall Horan’s Nice to Meet Ya entered at No 51; Liam Payne’s awkward trap-pop bop Stack It Up started at No 84; while Louis Tomlinson’s Kill My Mind failed to chart. As for Zayn, whose 27-track second album Icarus Falls flew in at No 77 last December, he is now relying on collaborations to keep his Spotify plays ticking over. So why has the post-1D bubble burst?
In many ways, the band represented the last true cross-generational, all-consuming pop culture moment. They were also a global phenomenon, who arrived when less quantifiable stats – such as huge YouTube viewing figures and Twitter followers the size of Peru (Niall Horan is currently the band’s most followed with 39.4 million followers) – started to infiltrate music.
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