“Do you ever wonder why this music gets you high?
It takes you on a ride. Feel it when your body starts to rock. Baby you can’t stop
And the music’s all you got. This must be, pop.” – NSYNC
Here’s the story. One day, back in early April, I was minding my own business when my roommate came home from work and said, “Hey, have you heard of this new boyband One Direction? They were on the Today Show this morning, their songs are pretty catchy.” I responded with a blank stare because I had no idea who she was talking about. Later that week, I got my issue of Entertainment Weekly and there was a feature on the band for a concert they did in Dallas. I flipped mindlessly through the article and thought, “wow, those boys have a lot of hair.”
You know when you hear of something a couple times and it somehow manages to invade all aspects of your life? Well, that Saturday, I was watching SNL and oh look who is the musical guest, the boys with the hair. I watched their performance, got into the song and thought, “damn that one in the red blazer is cute.” However, my downfall was twitter and tumblr.
Slowly but surely the people I follow on both were talking about the band. My tumblr dash was filled with pictures but I was steadfastly ignoring everything. But, I am weak. I am SO weak when it comes to a boyband. I was a NKOTB fan, I was an NSYNC fan and I should have known I’d become a 1D fan. On April 18, 2012 I reblogged my first 1D post on tumblr. It was a pic of Louis tagged #This Is Not A 1D post (because denial is not just a river in Egypt). Then, THEN I saw the pictures of the boys in Australia. Specifically, I saw pictures of the boys with koalas. You guys, cute boys with accents WITH furry animals…I was a goner. From that moment on, I became obsessed.
As my bio says, I don’t like to half-ass my fangirlness, I own it. I found out all there is to know about the band, got their album, looked up their stint on X-Factor (more on that later) on youtube and fell down the rabbit hole. One Direction just isn’t for your kid sister. They’re for everyone. I’ve since seen them in concert three times. I have tickets to see them twice this year. I know more than any one person should know about five boys from England and Ireland, and this post is your entry into the phenomena that is One Direction.
Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik each auditioned for the 2010 season of X-Factor UK individually, but were cut before the judge’s house round. However, at the suggestion of Nicole Scherzinger, the boys were brought back and made into a group. They were mentored on the show by Simon Cowell, and came in 3rd place. Yup, 1D, one of the biggest musical acts in the world, didn’t even win X-Factor.
From X-Factor (and the subsequent X-Factor tour) One Direction signed with Sony/Syco and released 2 platinum albums, Up All Night and the recent Take Me Home (sure thing, Harry) which featured #1 singles. They’ve sold out arenas across the UK, US, Australia, and Europe for their tours. They have performed on the Today Show twice, on SNL, at the closing ceremonies of the summer Olympic games, for the Queen of England, sold-out Madison Square Garden, won a BRIT (England’s version of the Grammys), won 3 VMAs, were nominated for a multitude of other awards, announced a clothing line and fragrance, got an endorsement deal with Pepsi, released a tour DVD, graced the covers of every neon colored teen magazine and more. But the best part? Most of that was done in 2012!
Sure, they’re hugely successful, but also, they’re just five really great men. So let’s get to know the boys of 1D.
Harry Styles, 19, Cheshire, England: Harry is the curly haired baby of the group and actually came up with their name. He’s a charming, slow-talker who has dimples I want to take a swim in. He boasts the most followers on twitter, coming in at 10.9 million. He’s adorable about his mom and sister and has a serious singing voice that just keeps getting deeper and haunting my dreams. He loves tattoos and has….well, a few to say the least. He is also *cough* BFFs *cough* with Nick Grimshaw, the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ, and has stated his BFF within the group is Louis; they even lived together for a period of time. Oh, and if you’ve ever heard the smoosh name of Larry Stylinson, that’s them. Harry, or Hazza if you will, is going to be my future husband. Ahem.
Liam Payne, 19, Wolverhampton, England: Liam originally auditioned for X-Factor when he was 14 and was sent home and told to come back when he was a bit older. Cue 2 years later when he came back and was put into 1D. Pretty sure he’s glad he took the judges’ advice. They call him the first verse man because on the album Up All Night, he starts off the majority of the songs. He’s also known as Daddy Direction because the boys say he’s the sensible one of the group, but lately, he and Louis get into more trouble than anyone else. Fun fact, 2 of his tattoos are dedicated to the boys because OF COURSE THEY ARE. He currently dates Danielle Peazer, a professional dancer he met on X-Factor.
Niall Horan, 19, Mullingar Ireland: Niall or Nialler, is the only Irishman (and blond) of the group. Not only does he sing, but he also plays guitar. No one, and I mean no one is a bigger fan of One Direction than Niall Horan. He’ll never say no to food, especially Nandos. He can call Justin Bieber a friend, and has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. He’s got a TON of energy on stage and one day I will have pints with him. He and Liam tend to do the most twitcams and interact with fans the most on twitter. If you ever need to know what the boys are up to, check his timline. And if you see a boy in a pair of supras and a snapback, chances are, it’s Niall.
Zayn Malik, 20, Bradford, England: Can you even read this post after seeing his picture? Probably not. His eyes and eyelashes make me want to set myself on fire and he has never met a camera angle he didn’t like. His voice has the soul of an R&B artist and he hits big notes that make you raise your hallelujah hand. Like Harry, he loves himself a tattoo shop. He is still supremely close to his family and friends from Bradford, and thanks to X-Factor we all know he can’t dance. But hell luckily for him, neither can any of them. He’s low-key witty and pretty damn smart. He currently dates Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, the winners of 2011 X-Factor UK.
Louis Tomlinson, 21, Doncaster, England: Louis, the oldest member of 1D loves a good prank, is probably the loudest and you’ll never miss when he’s in a room. The boys list him as the funniest of the group. In 2012, he was known for his trademark stripes and rolled trousers and makes you wonder how he gets all dat booty in those pants. He’s the resident footballer and makes you hope he’ll strike a goal in your net. He has a PhD in throwing shade and his crinkly eyed smile can make an angel cry. I have also listened to his solo on the song Moments more than I should ever admit to. He currently dates student Eleanor Calder.
Not only are these boys nice, and charming, they’re also talented. I’m always a little skeptical of seeing big acts live because I’ve been disappointed, but I can say with 100% certainty they sound even better live and they definitely do not lip synch. They co-wrote multiple songs on their album Take Me Home, working with various respected writers and producers and in fact, my favorite Ginger Jesus has 3 songs he’s written featured between their two albums.
And one last thing, they’re charitable. They work with Ray of Sunshine children’s foundation for seriously ill and terminal children. Louis is a patron for Blue Bell children’s hospital and even hosted a football event to raise money in support of them. Harry supported his mom in a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro that supported Believe in Magic, a charity for ill children. Niall rang in his 19th birthday with a golf outing that supported autism. And Zayn, along with the group flew to Africa on his 20th birthday to do work in support of Red Nose Day.
Red Nose Day (RND), a UK based charity has been around for 25 years and helps young people living in the streets or living with domestic abuse. In Africa, donations go to saving thousands from malaria with life-saving vaccines. This year One Direction is helping out as much as they can. The boys recorded a single, a cover of Blondie’s One Way Or Another, for RND, which went #1 in 60 countries. All profits from that single go directly to RND. Additionally, they went to Ghana, Africa to see firsthand what the money from RND goes to and if this video doesn’t break your heart (and make you want to donate to RND) I don’t know what else will.
tl;dr That is One Direction. I dare you to take a chance and check out their music. Maybe you’ll even dance along to it, and maybe just maybe, I’ll end up seeing you at one of their shows this year singing out all the words like the rest of us.
p.s. Tonight, the boys are performing at the BRITs and are also nominated for two awards. Want to flail about the performance? Leave it in the comments!