Back in 2010, after signing a record deal onto Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Records, One Direction was born. The English Irish pop band, loved mostly by giddy American middle school girls, brought back the hype in boy bands following in the larger-than-life footsteps of the recently revived Jonas Brothers.
Soon, stores became piled high with One Direction merchandise and albums were unable to sit on the shelf for too long. Each of the five original members of the band had a following of enthusiastic, young girls redefining the term “boy band” up until 2016 when the band officially disbanded.
Today, most of the original five of One Direction have successfully kept themselves out of the spotlight while reporters chase after the answer to a three-year-long question: Where are they now? Recently, many fans were surprised with news about One Direction member Niall Horan and his reemergence in the music industry. However, looking back to the music the group was known for, it may not be the most ideal path for die-hard “one directioners.”
Yes, that’s right. Horan has left his pop boy band roots behind, shifted to rock ‘n’ roll. While he hasn’t fully switched to the rock genre — he’s chosen to go a softer route showcasing his talents under the sub-genre of pop rock — his new single, “Nice to Meet Ya’,” shakes fans with a new side of him.
The single begins with a piano riff giving off the emotion of urgency followed by the use of hand claps — a staple in many pop rock songs today. As the rest of the dynamic band, including Julian Bunetta, a long-time collaborator of Horan’s, as well as Tobias Jessor, Jr. and Ruth-Anne Cunningham, enters the melody that has been created, listeners are taken on a unique journey carried by the familiar voice of Horan.
It becomes obvious very quickly that Horan is speaking about a lover that he can’t quite shake. He sings: “One minute you’re there / The next one you’re gone / Been waiting on you all night so c’mon / You know what I need / You know what I want.”
It looks like Horan may have had a secret lover away from the radar of his fans back from his One Direction days. This isn’t the most shocking thing about the release of his new single, however. Back on Horan’s decision to go rock, it’s an alarming choice many fans would never have predicted for the young singer. In the dreams of those wishing for the boy band to reunite or for at least one of the original members to bring their voice back into the world of music, rock has never been a result of any of these fantasies. Regardless, Horan’s voice has taken a leap from its roots and found a home that complements it well. In fact, Horan seems to fit in well with the pop rock scene and gives the genre a breath of fresh air as listeners are introduced to a new wave of the style.
Attaching the music video for “Nice to Meet Ya’” to both Horan’s vocals as well as the lyrics behind his new single, everything smoothly fits together, recreating the image of the singer in a positive light.
Beginning with a blonde woman walking barefoot out of Horan’s apartment after a one-night stand, viewers are taken on a journey 24 hours earlier showcasing how the connection between Horan and the mysterious woman first began. Unlike the more tame love stories of One Direction, Horan takes a leap of faith, shocking fans with a more raw and adult version of himself. Despite the shock behind the new, adult content, it’s about time that the singer shows his age in his music. Unlike the music that attracted the attention of a younger audience, Horan is finally ready to provide a new age range of listeners, mostly millennials, with the music in high demand to complete their digital playlists.
It’s not a shock that many of the singers who were once part of what we knew as beloved boy bands have moved on from their juvenile roots. The Jonas Brothers are probably one of the most recent of these bands to decide to create music more within their age range as 2019 comes to a close, so it is not a shock that at least one former member of One Direction decided to take this torch being passed down.
#NiceToMeetYa is out! Thank you for the patience guys! I'm very proud of this one and I hope ya love it. Video is out as well , go give it a watch on @vevo now x https://t.co/qc7nRY0g39 pic.twitter.com/pXGcye1JHJ
— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) October 4, 2019
Horan, as his single begins to gain more attention, has released rumors that there may be a new album on the way. Unlike his 2017 album, “Flickers,” which featured a heavy selection of ballads, he claims his new album will take a much different route. He says, “It won’t be Flicker, it’s a little bit different. I’ll always have my ballads in there, but I’m trying to rock things up a little bit.”
Obviously, Horan has really decided to take a risk and tap into the inspiration behind the current fad in pop rock. If his new album is anything like his newly released single then fans should be in for a treat. However, fans may only hope that the album includes songs that are just as much of a bop as “Nice to Meet Ya’.” Horan has put high expectations on himself after the recent release, but it’s hard to underestimate the singer with what we’ve heard already.
As fans begin to anticipate the possible release of a new album drop, many cannot help but sing along to his new single, smiling as they can’t wait to meet the new Horan. Maybe “Nice to Meet Ya’” is a sentimental nod to fans as they prepare to meet a side of Horan he hasn’t shown before.