One Direction Controversy: Is There Really Bad Blood?

Boyband sensation One Direction are currently enjoying a hiatus after five years of constant recording and touring. The smash-hit band have dominated the pop music scene since appearing on the 2010 season of X Factor, but they decided to take a break at the end of 2015. Understandably, the various members of One Direction wanted to spend some time away from each other whilst pursuing solo projects. Of course, when One Direction are concerned, some media outlets are keen to tap into the bottomless wellspring of readers that the One Direction fandom provides.

With over 200 million followers on social media, One Direction are always big news. It could be argued that fans, who are currently deprived of seeing their favorites on tour, are desperate for any snippet of One Direction news. Sadly that means that some outlets are only too happy to feed that appetite with news that plays on the fears of One Direction fans.

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Speculation about the future of One Direction hit fever pitch in March 2015 when former member Zayn Malik walked out shortly after the beginning of One Direction’s last world tour. At the end of last summer, Malik told Fader magazine that he had never felt at home as a member of One Direction. Malik revealed that there was no room for creativity within One Direction as they were forced to re-record tracks until they were “as generic as f**k.” The comments did not go down well with One Direction fans who thought that Malik was biting the hand that fed him.

Malik upset One Direction fans again when he appeared to criticize his former bandmates in a Billboard interview.

“I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, but I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”

There is no doubt, as a former member of One Direction, the things that Malik does not do can easily become big news. This is especially the case when it is possible to draw a line back to One Direction. The Daily Mail reports that Malik has “reignited his feud” with One Direction simply because he did not take to social media to congratulate Niall Horan on the release of his first solo track “This Town.” Once again, it shows that failing to do something equates with a feud where One Direction are concerned. It is sad that it can be suggested that there is a feud between One Direction and Zayn Malik on such flimsy evidence.

Niall surprised One Direction fans by dropping the track without any pre-release hype and unsurprisingly fans went crazy, apparently driving the song to the No.1 spot in over 50 countries. Radio stations like London’s Capital FM were desperate to land an interview with Horan, and in that interview, Niall revealed some news that will be a concern to many One Direction fans. Horan revealed that One Direction is not reforming in the “foreseeable” future.

“Basically for the foreseeable we’re doing our own thing, we still keep in touch all the time, it’s very much still there. There’s no doubt about it, I don’t know when, it could be a year, it could be two, but it’ll definitely happen.”

Horan has always been the one to offer the most reassurance to One Direction fans. He has said time and again that One Direction will reform at some point. Niall does not change his position on that promise, but it is now clear that there are no plans in place.

If “This Town” is an indication of the quality of music that we can expect from the One Direction boys, then fans are in for a treat. Horan’s song is a beautifully structured, nostalgic ballad underpinned by some lovely folk-style finger-picking guitar and a gorgeous string arrangement. In many ways, the style reflects the laid back, observational folk vibe that has been popularized by the wildly popular Passenger and Ed Sheeran.

Niall demonstrates exactly what One Direction fans have been saying for years, these boys are insanely talented. Simon Cowell might like to claim the credit for One Direction’s success, but Horan shows that the power of Cowell’s media empire is nothing without hard work and talent.

[Featured Image by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP Images]