Irish singer-songwriter Niall Horan of One Direction fame has decided to let his fans in on his musical process. Horan has penned an open letter to his fans – calling them “lovely people” that details his future plans for new music as well as his experience as a solo artist so far.
Niall has seen plenty of commercial success with his new single “This Town,” a slow stripped-down melody reminiscent of the sleepier tracks by Ed Sheeran. The track has peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently sitting at No. 40 on the chart. While an official music video for Horan’s “This Town” has yet to be released, his live “1 Mic, 1 Take” version of it has over 22 million views so far.
In his letter to fans, Niall called the “This Town” response from fans and the media “pretty amazing” and discussed his experiences performing the song on award shows and talk shows. Horan named the 2016 American Music Awards as a highlight of his solo performances so far, referencing his past history with the show as a member of One Direction. While he did not have Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, or Liam Payne onstage with him, Niall wrote in his letter that he did not feel alone onstage.
“To return to a show where we always had incredible times and we were very successful at was amazing for me. This time I had the comfort of having a band with me. The addition of the cellist, pianist and drummer made me feel very at home and I felt completely in control which was a very nice feeling to have.”
I have adoration for this photo, niall looks so good and the guitars back, it's a great scene. pic.twitter.com/Ts648031NB
— best niall pics (@njhpicss) December 6, 2016
While Niall clearly enjoyed the American Music Awards, he neglected to mention in the letter his interaction with former One Direction member Zayn Malik, who was also at the show as a solo artist. Horan raised eyebrows and caused headlines when he shared a brief handshake with Malik, who was clearly surprised by the acknowledgment. The rift between One Direction and Malik has been thoroughly documented in tabloids, but perhaps Niall is turning over a new life during his career as a solo artist.
Later in the letter, Horan shared details about his new album, which is potentially coming out in summer 2017. Niall revealed that he has been in the studio working hard on his new album and praised Capitol Records for their help with the production.
— 1D News Honduras (@1DNewsHN) December 5, 2016
While One Direction often lacked creative control in who wrote and produced their albums (especially the earlier ones), Horan mentioned that he had a final say in who would be producing the album. Niall named Jacquire King and Don Was as his new producers, emphasizing their history with iconic artists like the Rolling Stones.
“For me to work with this calibre of producer is pretty amazing really and I’m humbled that they wanna work with me.”
Horan revealed that he will be singing and playing guitar on the album, and that he was “eight songs deep and ready for more.” However, this does not mean the album is almost done – Niall wrote in his letter that after Christmas he planned to “fall off the face of the earth” to “come up with more song ideas and get back in the writing zone” before coming back in February.
I still can't believe Niall made a handwritten letter of 8 paragraphs updating us, he really wants me to never find anyone else worthy pic.twitter.com/7VdfJCMGsd
— Coraline (@HoranHarrison) December 6, 2016
Niall took the time to write his fans a handwritten letter when will your fav ever
— athena (@louvablejade) December 6, 2016
Niall literally wrote us a 3 page letter ???? THREE PAGES. That man really is so good to us. I'm glad we all appreciate him.
— Linn Johannessen (@linnjo88) December 6, 2016
Until then, however, Niall fans have plenty to look forward to from the One Direction member. Horan will be appearing on The Tonight Show hosted by Jimmy Fallon on December 13, and he is set to appear on a number of iHeartRadio Jingle Ball shows. While he will only be performing “This Town,” it is a chance for fans to see Horan in person before his “disappearing act” in January.
This level of contact and transparency with fans was typical of One Direction, so it makes sense that Horan would continue the tradition with his open letter. With a new album and potentially a new sound, there will be plenty of Niall Horan news to come in 2017.
[Featured Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]