One Direction brothers Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik are facing off in more ways than one. All are reportedly regarding the moves of the others with curious eyes as they ink solo deals and decide on their musical direction, and Zayn, Harry and Liam also faced off in the Capital FM Sexiest contest, trended on Twitter as #CapitalSexiest.
The Sun reports that Simon Cowell has a theory about why Liam Payne signed with another label unexpectedly. Simon thinks Liam probably read about Harry Styles’ solo offers from Universal and Sony and concluded that “we [Sony] weren’t interested.”
“I guess he read about Harry’s deal and thought we weren’t interested.”
Liam is reportedly considering both Harry Styles’ and Zayn Malik’s creative plan, as he crafts his own solo plans and decides which direction to move in sonically. Liam reportedly took note of the fact that Harry Styles is planning a more rock ‘n’ roll sound on his solo album, and Zayn Malik has gone the RnB route with his album Mind Of Mine. Liam apparently decided to stay close to his pop roots, because that is the sound One Direction fans want to hear.
“Insiders say that Liam is well aware Harry Styles will be going for a rock sound in his first album. Zayn Malik has already headed out with a more edgy vibe than anything we heard during his One Direction days. Payne will embrace his pop roots…”
Not only that, Liam was reportedly encouraged to pick up the pace with his solo work after Zayn Malik and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini encouraged him to cut back on “cooking for Cheryl” and pay more attention to his solo music career, which Liam had put on the backburner for a while.
Hollywood Life reports that “it’s not clear what sort of advice Zayn gave Liam.” However, the publication notes that “if you ask us, Zayn is definitely the right person to be getting advice from. After all, Zayn’s first solo record, Mind of Mine, was met with major success. We have high hopes for Liam!
“Liam [Payne] had offers on the table to work outside of One Direction, but he was scared of the kind of pressure that it would bring. But thanks to [girlfriend] Cheryl [Fernandez–Versini], and in some degree Zayn [Malik], who he also spoke with for advice, he’s embarking on this next chapter in his life.”
Zayn was rumored to have bad blood with Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson after he unexpectedly quit One Direction in 2015, however reports claimed that Zayn was always on good terms with Liam Payne.
After Zayn left, Liam told reporters that “‘One Direction was never really Zayn’s kind of bag, if you know what I mean. [Zayn’s] taste in music was a bit different, and I guess that’s kind of what drove him to do what he did in the end, which is not necessarily a bad thing,” according to Daily Mail.
Harry Styles was more negative about Zayn’s departure. Styles reportedly felt “betrayed” and even tried to get Malik to return to the 2015 One Direction tour just before Zayn quit.
There was some speculation that Zayn Malik quit One Direction early as part of a strategy. Some believed that Zayn quit first so that he could be the first member to release solo material and have the greatest chance of becoming the Justin Timberlake-esque breakout star of the band.
Zayn may or may not have quit strategically. However, later reports hinted that his move may have benefited Harry Styles, rather than hindering him.
Unreality TV reported that executives at Sony and Universal considered Zayn Malik’s album sales figures when they decided how big a check to write for Harry Styles. The execs must have been impressed, because they offered Styles an impressive sum. A bidding war between Universal and Sony ensued, and Harry Styles ended up a rich man.
It was this figure that then allegedly prompted Liam Payne to shift to another label because he decided that Simon and Sony must not be serious about him.
Meanwhile, Capital FM has been running a Capital Sexiest poll, and Liam, Zayn and Harry are facing off in that as well.
The hunks join Calvin Harris, Nick Jonas, Justin Bieber and some other names in the lineup for the male award, which is gaining traction on Twitter under the hashtag #CapitalSexiest.
“Capital’s back on the hunt for the SEXIEST male & female stars in pop!”
Capital FM notes that readers “voted in [their] hundreds of thousands last year to crown Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards the hottest pop stars in the world.”
At the time of publication of this report, Harry Styles was leading the poll with 27 percent of the vote. Zayn Malik was close behind him in second place, with 24 percent.
[Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP Images]