As One Direction's career progressed, the group's members began taking a more central approach to songwriting; a peek at the credits for the 2014 album Four, for example, reveals the hand of Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, especially, on most of the tracks, including "Fireproof" and "Ready to Run." That's why it makes perfect sense that all the members would unveil solo careers in the wake of 1D's ongoing hiatus.
Tomlinson's launched just last month with the release of his debut single "Back to You," though the singer had previously expressed reservations about going the solo route at all. So, what made him change his mind?
"If I'm being honest, I feel like I've got a little bit of a point to prove," Tomlinson told MTV News recently about his "clever" new single.
Though "Back to You" is certifiably pop, Tomlinson grew up loving guitar-based rock bands, he said, and that when it came time to sit down and create solo music of his own, he found inspiration in the acts from his youth: mainly Oasis and Arctic Monkeys, both from Northern England (like Tomlinson).
"The way that they write I've always found very interesting because, you know, if you look at a pop song fundamentally, lyrically it's very different to the conversational style that Arctic Monkeys or Oasis might use, and that's exciting to me," Tomlinson said.
Though he hasn't released any details about his forthcoming solo album, the 25-year-old singer has plans for more singles to be rolled out soon. That's where you can expect to hear, as he said, more of the real Louis Tomlinson.
"I'd kind of been in too many sessions and heard too many songs that are describing situations that I just can't relate to, that just seem to be so Hollywood almost, and so almost unrealistic," he said. "So I just wanted to make something that was more grounded and honest and real."
And it certainly doesn't get any realer than this.