Liam Payne signed a recording deal last month with Capitol Records, and fans are worried that this might signal the end of One Direction for some reason. Still, they are also wondering what Liam’s new music will sound like. Well, the first news is certainly something no one could have expected. The Sun recently revealed that Payne has been collaborating with Anthony Bamgboye and a grime producer named Krunchie. His future plans include featuring Jess Glyne, Rita Ora, and Timbaland in some of his new songs. All that is pretty edgy.
One Direction management kept the boys working in a single direction, which was very basic pop music. Now, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik are making some deliberately wild and edgy choices. Mostly, they are learning and experimenting because they have a choice in their music style.
Zayn Malik was the first to go and now he’s doing some pretty complicated R&B. The language on his first album is more overtly sexual than anything One Direction ever did, as well. He has expressed many times that he was never comfortable with the 1D style and always related more to R&B.
Liam Payne is now expressing similar ideas and desiring a more edgy style than One Direction was allowed to produce. Liam is obviously searching for a more specialized niche to call his own. Payne is trying to define his style too. Will it be grime?
Harry Styles’ new music has not yet been released, but judging from his collaborators and his favorite music icons, we can assume his sound will be classic rock-influenced, but with a new twist all his own to make it unique and more 21st century. He has hinted that he’d love to lead the way to define early 21st-century music, just as the Beatles helped define the sound that dominated the last half of the previous century.
Now, Liam Payne is going to try some grime in his new sound, though, like Styles, he will try to do something unique with it to be sure. It is hard to imagine Liam trying to sound like Stormzy, Krept, or Konan, but those are the kinds of producers and advisers he is talking to.
The One Direction guys have apparently decided they want to play much edgier music. They want to be inventive and come up with new signature sounds. They are probably overcompensating just a bit, from the pent up creative ideas. Management kept their image squeaky clean and ensured their music was oh so vanilla for over five years. Edgy sounds will likely overwhelm their first albums, but eventually they will settle into a style all their own. They have left the door open to come back together, and they probably will, but right now is a time of exploration.
Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and now Liam Payne are ready to try something new. It is important that they experiment with their music to develop and deepen their skills into something more mature. One thing is certain, though, when they do come back together it will not be to make vanilla sweet pop music. It might be a while before they are ready, but when they do, look out, because the new One Direction sound will likely be fantastic.
Liam Payne expressed his new found self-determination, which was explained to The Sun, via a reliable source.
“Liam wants to make it clear that he’s not just about cheesy ballads. He’s a serious musician with many different strengths. Krunchie has inspired Liam by teaching him more about a new area of music and hopes one of their tracks will be his debut solo single. He’s got sessions booked in with all the top producers in the U.S. over the next few months.”
So there is the answer, One Direction Fans. Liam Payne is not just looking into grime. That’s just his first area of exploration. He’s going systematically through the various style choices before either just picking one or combining a few for a new sound. He is educating himself. No doubt his first album will be full of experimentation, but Liam’s plan is completely logical. He’s learning from all the best producers and musicians in the business and trying to decide exactly what he wants to do.
So why can’t One Direction just stay together? Why do they have to change their music style? If they want career longevity in the music business, they need to grow and deepen their skills if their careers are going to survive past this decade. They will also have to stay abreast of new trends and perhaps set a few trends as well.
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik are looking at the long game. There are rock stars that are still popular even though they are 70-years-old or more, but it is harder for pop music stars, and especially heartthrob-types to make it past the age of being cute. Music is a competitive business and eventually they will all have to hone their skills for more mature and complicated music in order to still sell albums after they get older. Also, it is hard to say where music is headed right now. What sounds will be popular 10 or 20 years from now? If they want to stay on top of the game, they need to grow and evolve with the rest of the musicians.
One Direction boys, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and now Liam Payne are experimenting with new styles of music in order to build on their musical talents.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]