Louis Tomlinson sat down to talk with Line of Best Fit about his solo career, collabs, the songs he’s written so far, his upcoming single, his debut album, and tour. We’ve gathered some of the highlights, but you can read the interview in its entirety at https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/features/interviews/louis-tomlinson-sticking-to-his-guns
On his solo career: “It’s kind of been an educational thing for me,” he explains to me, “a chance to experiment”.
On working with Steve Aoki on his first solo single, Just Hold On: “hadn’t been 100% sure [he] wanted to do anything in the solo world. It was a bit of a dream of mine to play festivals like Ultra, which I did with Steve, and it was wicked”.
On the current state of radio: “There’s a lot of frustration on my end with where radio is at. There’s a lot of rap and hip-hop and that’s not really my taste – I’ve never been great in that world, you know.”
On collaborating: “I felt like I had a bit of room to experiment, [because it was] shared. I kind of went into their world with those songs a bit.”
On Miss You: “‘Miss You’ was a little bit more… I suppose you could say pop-punk,” he muse, soon adding that “I’m trying to strive for credible and live-sounding, rather than overproduced and programmed.”
On Just Like You: “My lyrical style, naturally, is to just be matter of fact, honest, and sometimes blunt. I don’t like being clever for the sake of being clever. Sometimes it’s cool to read between the lines.”
On new single, Two Of Us: “I kind of shied away from writing that song because I didn’t really think I was ready to [go through that process] yet. I got into a session and we ended up getting into it, and it was going perfectly. He also said it was “a much more emotionally draining situation [in the studio] than [he’s] used to”, but also “one of the most fulfilling.” “I really did want to write this song, I was just intimidated at first because it had to be perfect. There had to be little things in there that were really thought-provoking for me. I feel like we got the whole message across perfectly. How I felt before and how I feel now. I’m really happy with where it’s finished up.”
On the writing process: “I think the way I were brought up and also where I’m from, I’ve got no problem just sitting here and spilling it out to anyone. I’m sure sometimes I catch people off guard when I just spill half my life story and they’ve known me ten minutes, but it’s how you get the best out of a song. it was great having the group that we had in the band. It’s more challenging this time around. I’ve had to be a lot more engaged and take a real interest in the little things about what makes a great song.”
On what 1D songs he’ll sing on tour: “I’ll be doing as many as I can get away with. LBD: “it sounds better live than what we recorded on track, No Contro: “The fans really got behind that one, and it always went down amazing on the tour shows. It’s a good sing-along one.” Love You Goodby: “one of [his] favourite songs [he] wrote for the band,” and fan favourite “Home”.
On his album: “After ‘Just Hold On’, I could’ve just followed the trends on radio, but it felt important to me to work out exactly who I was as an artist. I know myself, and I’m happy to let [the album] go. The fans have been waiting so long, I owe it to them now to not rush anything. It would be silly now to just rush it out.”
On working on the album so long: “…when I started writing this album, what I wanted was for it to play chronologically. I mean, the longer things take the harder this becomes to pull off, but it’s still something I want to do. It’s got to feel like you get to know what’s been happening for the past three years of my life. Although with some songs on the album I might not feel like that now, I know I did then and I still want to tell that story.”
Louis’ single, Two Of Us, comes out March 7. Pre-save it here.