Rumors that One Direction are breaking up have been floating around since the group announced their hiatus last year. When Harry Styles’ buddy Nick Grimshaw joked that the “break” was going to last eighty years, people wondered if the radio man was really joking, as reported by Sugarscape. Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne both set tongues wagging when they took turns “casually changing” the length of the hiatus from one year to two years to eighteen months, according to Seventeen. Last year Simon Cowell huffed that “if they want to come back, they’ll come back, but it won’t be because of any pressure from me,” according to Contact, and this week Simon was at it again, saying that he doesn’t know if the guys will reunite.
“I don’t know if it’s a hiatus or a breakup, to be honest. In a weird way, I don’t want to know. I don’t think they’ve had enough time to experience what it’s like not being in the group to really answer that.”
The Syco boss apparently thinks the guys have not had enough time off to decide if they miss the One Direction life and if they want to continue with it. Don’t forget that One Direction were on the road and recording for five years almost constantly from the time they were teenagers right up until last year. Their boss Simon is no doubt aware that once they get a taste of the independence and new horizons they can explore during the hiatus, they may not want to come back. This is likely to be especially true of One Direction because their massive success opened so many doors for them, and because the guys are still so young, still transitioning to full adulthood and exploring different possibilities as they find themselves creatively and professionally.
Take Louis Tomlinson’s business ambitions. In addition to bonding with new son Freddie Reign, Louis is reportedly going to use the hiatus to build his label, start a girl band with Simon and perhaps even step in and replace Harry’s pal Nick Grimshaw on The X Factor. Simon told a publication last year that Louis wants to be “an A&R [artists and repertoire] guy” and opined that Louis “was always going to be good at that,” suggesting that his young protege has been interested in this area for a long time, and that perhaps Louis enjoys it more than or as much as he enjoys recording/performing.
Louis’ business-related ambitions were also hinted at in that infamous Sun article where Dan Wootton called Louis “highly ambitious” and wrote about how “Louis took control of 1D, making himself the band’s unofficial leader and regularly going into battle with their management and record company.”
Wootton goes on to claim that ambitious Louis even managed to annoy some execs, quoting a source from Sony.
“Frankly, Louis is a little s*** who’s managed to annoy a lot of people over the last couple of years…He’s made some ridiculous decisions, like refusing to let 1D perform at the Brit Awards because they wanted more time off…But he’s played a clever game as he surely knows he’s not the most talented member and doesn’t have a strong singing voice, so has set himself up as the business brains…He even managed to convince Cowell to give him his own record label at Syco to keep him happy.”
While most fans would disagree with the notion that Louis’ voice is weak (the Doncaster hunk’s voice is the most recognizable in the group, with a unique timbre, and adds real character to many One Direction songs, notably “Over Again”), it’s hard to argue with the fact that Louis seems to have a keen interest in the business side of the industry, and may indeed decide to pursue that rather than continue with One Direction.
Harry Styles, on the other hand, appears to be exploring his interest in the arts and different types of creative self-expression during the hiatus. Multi-talented, politically-progressive Harry is a keen investor in the arts, a hobbyist painter, a fan of Damien Hirst and a soon-to-be-actor, preparing to star in his first feature film, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Harry also appears to be the most politically engaged of the guys, being a vocal supporter of LGBT issues, a self-professed feminist, and a follower of world news, sometimes posting about current events and global conflicts on Twitter. Perhaps Harry would like to marry his artistic abilities and his passion for world politics and humanist philosophies, as pop icons like John Lennon have done. Starring in World War II film Dunkirk, which is about the clash of British troops with Nazis during World War II, will definitely be a great place to start.
Indeed, Harry’s creative interests are so diverse, it’s easy to imagine him becoming addicted to the variety of interests he can now pursue with One Direction on the backburner. Perhaps Harry will indeed decide he does not want to return to such a rigorous, controlled schedule comprised of touring and studio time.
Will Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson decide to pursue their other passions? What about Liam and Niall? Will One Direction break up?
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision]