Expect the unexpected from Liam Payne.
While visiting BBC Radio 1’s famed Live Lounge on Thursday (May 10), the “Strip That Down” singer did, in fact, do a little stripping down when it came to his chosen cover song. He opted for a low-key interpretation of Zedd and Maren Morris’s hit “The Middle,” giving it a quieter arrangement that featured a cello and light drums. Surprisingly, Payne decided to forgo the bridge entirely, and instead threw in a clever interpolation of Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa’s shimmery collab, “One Kiss.”
Payne’s “The Middle” cover was one way to keep us on our toes, but for his next trick, the One Direction singer offered up a taste of his bilingual skills. What’s that? You didn’t know he could sing in Spanish? He must’ve gotten a lesson or two from his “Familiar” duet partner, J Balvin, because Payne took over the Latin singer’s Spanish portion of the song with total ease. The Live Lounge version of their flirty collab also included an extended, dramatic intro, as well as a cameo from British rapper Yxng Bane, who contributed some breezy rhymes of his own.
Check out both performances below, and catch Payne and Balvin’s steamy “Familiar” video if you haven’t already.