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Niall Horan: ‘I went to my first concert when I was four. It was an Eagles gig’

Mr. Nimbus | 06/10/2023

Niall Horan joins Zane Lowe in-studio on Apple Music 1 to discuss his forthcoming third studio album ’The Show’ due out later this week. He tells Apple Music the global pause the pandemic caused was the first time he was able to have time off since being a teenager and discusses finding space in the solitude to steer his career into the next chapter, why the new album is a metaphor for the craziness of his career and the most emotional album he’s made (and his best to date), and navigating adulthood. Niall also speaks about being encouraged to explore therapy by Sam Smith and James Bay, why he admires Ed Sheeran’s work ethic, and addresses the ongoing One Direction reunion rumours, telling Zane that the members still speak regularly but that the reunion conversation hasn’t happened: ” It could be like the Friends reunion, it could be a whole tour. God knows what it is, but no, it hasn’t been spoken about, so…”

Niall Horan on Why His Forthcoming Album ‘The Show’ Is His Best To Date …

…for where I’m at right now, I think it’s the perfect representation of where I’m at in my head. There’s some deep dives in there, there’s some great fun stuff…… and observations and… Yeah, I would say across the board, it’s definitely the best. It’s the most mature sounding, the most record feeling. And I purposefully made it 10 songs as well. Just the in and out. None of this getting to track 15 and going, “When the f**k is this going to end?” Let’s get to 10 and make people want to get back to one.

Niall Horan Says Forthcoming Album ‘The Show’ is The Most Emotional Record He’s Made…

Probably more so then, yeah. The most emotional record I’ve made I’d imagine because I had this massive period of reflection looking into the future a bit, looking left and right more than I’ve ever done. When you’re in the rat race, you tend to just go. Yeah, exactly. So as I said, when you’re on the roll, you just go with it. You don’t do any thinking when you’re 17 to 20 something. You just go. There’s no time for thinking, just having fun and enjoying it.

Niall Horan on One Direction Reunion Rumours…

Oh, it’s not like it’s ever stopped. The Corden one is just a big moment in… A long line of… It’s in most interviews. I’ll talk about it in… Yeah, so it’s not like it’s ever stopped. It’s just like the conversation hasn’t happened. It’s a great legacy to have. No, I don’t think it sucks the air out the room. It’s more, the answer’s still the same. The conversation hasn’t happened. We speak regularly, but that conversation hasn’t happened. God knows whether it ends up being. It could be like the Friends reunion, it could be a whole tour. God knows what it is, but no, it hasn’t been spoken about, so…

Niall Horan on Learning How To Let Go During The Pandemic…

I think the pandemic had a lot to do with the letting go part. I probably did more letting go in the last three years than I’ve ever done in my life. Literally. I don’t think up until that point, I had any time off of any length for 10 years, probably before I started. I moved out home when I was 16 and never moved back.

Niall Horan on Pursuing Solo Music…

No, I just got the head down. I just had to, when you leave something that size, you just have to trust in what you can already do. I trusted that I could write a tune or two and I performed in front of a few million people, so I just trusted in that and just went with it. I just had to do what naturally came to me as well. I didn’t want to go and start finding a sound. I wanted to just pick up the guitar and just keep your fingers crossed that it comes out the way you wanted to.

Niall Horan on His Musical Upbringing…

No one was musical, but huge music fans. I grew up with vinyl in the living room. My parents weren’t particularly English seventies rock fans. They were more the American stuff. It was all very Laurel Canyon, all of that stuff. All of it. James Taylor. Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills. The Eagles are our number one. I went to my first concert when I was four. It was an Eagles gig. Yeah, I was just grew up on that stuff and just instinctively, I just always tend to head back that way instead of … Just when I pick up something, it just goes that way.

Niall Horan on Songwriting and Being a Fan of His Own Music…

It’s like I’m trying to sit down and write the best thing I can. It’s like anyone, I always say this, it’s like anyone in their normal day job, you’re not sitting down to write the worst thesis or you’re not sitting down to make the worst spreadsheet you possibly can to mess the numbers up. You’re trying to do the best job you possibly can while you’re sitting there doing it. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t like it.

Niall Horan on Releasing His Last Album ‘Heartbreak Weather’ Right As The Pandemic Was Beginning…

I think people were so, no one knew what to do. People didn’t even know whether to shake hands or fist bump at that point. We were doing the elbow at that point, I think. I don’t think anyone knew, even in regard to releasing music, what was going to happen. I remember I was sitting in, James Corden, I was doing a week on James Corden, and I sat James’s office and we were chatting between shows and on the TV they’re saying, “You’ve got 24 hours.” This is the day my album’s coming out. “You’ve got 24 hours to leave or stay,” and I had this whole plan. We were going to New York, we were doing the whole plaza thing. I was going, doing all that stuff, heading up to Canada, had all these things planned, and then it was just onto the travel agent, “Let’s go home.” I remember saying to the label, “There’s no way of pulling this and maybe releasing it when the world’s in a better shape,” and they were like, “It’s already out in Australia and New Zealand.”It was good to see it from a still perspective, what was going on online, just see all the fans react to the songs. Then, it was just their yearning for wanting to see it live and I couldn’t give it to them. Then, that’s when I was like, “All right, okay, I don’t think we’re going anywhere for a while. I’ll just sit still and take this as still time for the first time.”

Niall Horan on Being Encouraged To Explore Therapy By Sam Smith and James Bay …

…I still haven’t. And it’s something that people are recommending and I feel like I want to go and do it. I would count myself as a good talker. I’ve got no problem telling people how it feels… I’m at the end of my twenties and it’s done a lot in a short space of time. And there is a lot to look back at and look forward to and look left and right at as I say. So it’s just taking it all in and then having your couple of outlooks on things. And that’s where The Show came from, The Show being the metaphor for all of this. I remember having a chat with, and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, James Bay. And Sam actually, Sam Smith. And we were talking one night about therapy and stuff like that. I really hope they don’t mind me saying this… and it was more the experiences that we’ve all been through. This is where famous people conversations are good for me. I don’t have many of them, but they’re good where we’ve all been through a similar thing where it’s an up upward trajectory and fast. And you don’t realize what it’s doing. So it’s more of based on your experience and what you’ve been through to say, “I think this would be a good…” Not saying, “I think this would be good,” but the more I hear of it, the more I’m like I think that actually might be a good idea for me. Honestly, because if you hear it off everyone, yeah. I just understand it from their mouths more than I would most people.

Niall Horan on Ed Sheeran’s Work Ethic…

I remember during the pandemic, Ed was telling me that he was writing two songs a day before noon. I was just like… I made a chicken salad and did half-assed workout. He’s great. Ed’s one of the greatest.

Niall Horan on If He’ll Play Any One Direction Songs During His Upcoming Shows…

More than likely, yeah. I’ve never been one to hide away from it. They’re great songs.There’s so many on there that feel like my kind of stuff as well. And it’s good to make new versions of as well.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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