When it comes to the media and One Direction, a tumultuous relationship has been bred from rumors, misrepresentations, and elaborate fabrications based off of half-truths. The
Fans immediately began to panic, especially after Zayn’s departure, that the hiatus was going to turn into a break-up and the media ran wild with that idea. Some of the same rumors that have been floating around for ages began to spin with new twists to them. In all honesty, it was exhausting and nearly impossible to keep up with.
Now, as we move into 2017; things still haven’t changed much and that’s after reassurance that the lads, while enjoying their time off the road to explore their separate interests, still have every intention of getting back together. It’s not over yet.
For instance; if Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam had truly wanted things to end – though it would have been messy and quite costly – they could have tried put a stop to One Direction after Zayn’s departure. If a stop was impossible, they would have lost their fire, it would have been very obvious that they were just doing it until they were no longer under obligation.
Instead, they released an absolutely smashing single ‘Drag Me Down’ in the middle of the night and sang it to an audience (who’d already memorized the tune) all within 24 hours, and it wasn’t just any song. ‘Drag Me Down’ is an anthem, it was their way of showing the world, and their fans, that there was nothing they couldn’t do as long as they were together.
Then, they continued their OTRA Tour as they did promotion for Made in the AM all while promising fans that the news of their Hiatus – which broke in August – was indeed true, but did not mean that they were breaking up. Just thinking about juggling all of that at once leaves us exhausted; so there’s no accurate description for how tired the boys must have been during the second half of 2015.
It seemed that no matter how many responses to interview questions that the boys gave to reassure that this wasn’t the end; it wasn’t good enough. Even today, it seems that with each passing week, hope dwindles.
This might make sense if the boys had never promised a return or if they didn’t explain the reason for their hiatus in a way that was simple, understandable, and genuine. It might even make sense if the boys had completely fallen off the map, only to come back with interest in their own things and, in turn, completely fail to acknowledge their other band mates or One Direction as a whole. Those things haven’t happened.
What has happened in 2016 however, is that the boys have absolutely embraced their hiatus for the very reason they took it; to explore their interests and themselves. Harry went on to film his first film role in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and is rumored to have spent time with songwriters through the year. Liam has been in and out of the studio working on his own solo project with some big names in music and even performed alongside Zedd one evening in Vegas. Niall went MIA and then released an incredible single ‘This Town’ before telling fans that he’d be releasing his own album in 2017 and doing guest appearances for the 2016 iHeart Jingle Ball Tour.
In 2016, Louis also released a solo single, ‘Just Hold On’ as a tribute to his late mother Johannah Deakin. The loss, still very recent, obviously changed him – Johannah referred to Louis as her best friend and he was the biggest ‘mama’s boy’. His single was created with Steve Aoki, music legend, and he’s also become a great friend to Louis through his difficult time. Louis also spent time in LA, was seen in the studio, and appeared as a guest judge on America’s Got Talent. He’s got the world on his shoulders at the moment, and we’re all sending him our love.
A takeaway from this year as a whole, along with the loss of Johannah, is that life is too short to focus on negativity and things that make you unhappy. The boys, right now, are happy and working on finding out who they are off the road and they’re young. They spent the most vital years of their lives on the road, working on albums and touring the world while losing more ‘normalcy’ every day. It was a dream that they chased and one that made them happy, but no one can run at 100 all the time. No one can go through life without knowing who they are as more than a talent with one defining trait.
Liam, Niall, Louis, and Harry deserve this time off, and they deserve to enjoy it without accusations of a bitter end that is hanging just out of sight but ready to drop. So it’s important now more than ever to just accept the words they spoke to us as truth; this is not the end, they’d be silly not to come back, and One Direction has been the best part of their lives so far; as well as the best time of ours.