February 23, 2016
What Direction For One Direction As Hiatus Looms?

As anyone with even a passing interest in popular music knows, One Direction are about to go their separate ways as their much-publicized hiatus looms. As One Direction set off on their last world tour this time last year, no one would have predicted the changes that have come about in such a short space of time. As One Direction kicked off their "On the Road Again" world tour they had five members. In March, Zayn Malik shook the One Direction fandom to its core when he walked out on the world's biggest boy band.

One Direction fans across the world breathed a huge sigh of relief when One Direction's management announced that the band would continue the tour as a foursome. Continue they did, but as the year wore on, One Direction fans grew increasingly concerned as rumors circulated that the tour would prove to be One Direction's last. Many fans were concerned that the constant cycle of touring, combined with writing and recording an album every year, was taking its toll on One Direction. Despite their fears, fans refused to believe that One Direction might be over.

In August, the Sun delivered the news that One Direction fans were dreading. One Direction were to go their separate ways. Many fans were devastated until first Niall Horan and then Liam Payne took to social media to promise fans that One Direction were merely taking an extended hiatus and were not splitting permanently. The band had made a collective decision not to tour in support of Made in the A.M., One Direction's fifth album.

One Direction did make a number of promotional appearances across the globe in support of the album, but that all came to an end in early December. For all intents and purposes, One Direction commenced their hiatus at that point. They are still officially a unit until the awards season wraps up next month. While various members of One Direction have attended award shows and after-show parties, the boys have not appeared as a unit anywhere.

Now, just weeks from the beginning of One Direction's hiatus, it is still not entirely clear what the boys will do during the break. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Harry Styles has ditched One Direction's management team and signed with his friend Jeff Azoff. It seems likely this move demonstrates that Styles intends to release solo material at some point during One Direction's hiatus.

There is absolutely no reason that Styles could not be represented by different teams for his solo work and for his work with One Direction. This point appears to be lost on some sections of the media, who have used Harry's move to strengthen the narrative that One Direction's split may be a permanent one.

Gossip magazine U.S. Weekly seems to have been the source of the rumors that One Direction's hiatus was actually a permanent split. They claimed to have information from "a source close to One Direction," who informed them that One Direction was over. Unsurprisingly, the story was picked up by the Sun's Dan Wootton, a reporter whom many One Direction fans believe to be the source of almost never-ending negative stories about One Direction.

In recent weeks, we have begun to see glimpses of what Louis Tomlinson will get up to during One Direction's hiatus. As reported by the Inquisitr, rumors that Tomlinson will appear as a judge on the next U.K. season of The X-Factor are gaining strength. We also know that Tomlinson has registered his own record label, and Capital FM tell us that Louis has also revealed that he is back to writing music.
With all of this combined with his considerable charitable work, it seems that Louis has plenty to keep him occupied during his break from One Direction.
Liam Payne has been keeping a pretty low profile of late, and he seems to be the man who is putting the break into One Direction's hiatus. That said, Liam has been in the studio with Juicy J and is strongly rumored to be writing songs for a host of artists, including Jennifer Lopez.
Niall Horan also seems to be doing a pretty good job of relaxing. Niall was spotted at darts and soccer matches in the U.K. and at cricket and tennis matches in Australia. Horan has indicated that he wants to travel and seems to be combining his love of sports with his desire to travel. It has also been reported that Niall may be going into sports management in partnership with One Direction's Modest Management.

What all of this boils down to is that the members of One Direction are pretty much doing exactly what they said in interviews during the late summer.

Despite all the rumors, gossip, and speculation, it seems that the One Direction boys are doing exactly what they said they would during the hiatus. That being the case, why should anyone believe that One Direction will not come back together as they have repeatedly said they will?

[Photo by KGC-161/STAR MAX/IPx/AP]