One Direction has only one way to go from here: up. The five-member boy band (“1D” to fans) began their climb to fame in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in 2010, after appearing on the British version of the talent show The X Factor. Originally, the boys—Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—each auditioned as solo artists. But the judges suggested they compete as a group. They finished in third place that season, and the rest is history! Some are even calling 1D the new “Fab Five,” which was the nickname for rock legends The Beatles.
The band’s first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was released in the U.K. in September 2011 and shot to Number 1 on the charts. Now their popularity has also spread to the United States, thanks to buzz on YouTube and Twitter. They released their first U.S. album, Up All Night, on March 13. It topped the U.S. Billboard album chart at Number 1, making them the first British group ever to do this with a debut album. One Direction is now visiting the United States, and wherever they go, thousands of screaming fans are sure to follow. Next, the band will perform at Nickelodeon's 2012 Kids' Choice Awards, on March 31., They will also make a special appearance on iCarly on April 7. On May 24, 1D will launch their first headlining tour around North America.
Last week, TFK Kid Reporter Julia Horbacewicz sat down for a chat with the band during a visit to New York City. Read on to find out what the guys had to say about their time in the States, or watch a video from the interview below.
When you first auditioned for The X Factor in the U.K., did you ever imagine you would become this famous?
No! We expected to do an album in the U.K. and see how things go. But you know, the power of YouTube and Twitter has just taken us across the world. It’s been absolutely incredible so far.
How did you become interested in music? Have you all been singing since you were young?
We actually all did a little singing at school—in theater productions, choirs, karaoke... So we were all interested in music and performing before, but just not on this scale. It’s amazing it’s gotten to this.
What’s a typical day for you guys on tour?
Normally, when we’re on tour in the U.K., we’re kind of chilled out because we just do the shows, and we’ve got the day to ourselves. But over here [in the U.S.], we have a lot of busy promo days. It depends what we’re doing that day. Like, if we’re doing something for Nickelodeon, it’s not that bad. But if we have a full day of promos, we may be up at 5 a.m., so it’s early mornings and late nights.
Yeah, quite long days. But you do a lot of exciting things in the day, so it’s a lot of fun.
We travel a lot, so we may wake up somewhere, do a load of work, then drive somewhere else and do it again.
When you’re on tour, do you get to sightsee? What have you seen in New York City?
I think New York and Boston are the first places where we’ve gotten to go around. We went to a nice fish restaurant in Boston. We’ve been to Times Square [in New York City], and we’re going to go ‘round and see some more of New York.
If you could perform in any arena, in any country, where would it be?
Madison Square Garden [in New York City].
I think that would be an amazing.
It would be great!
There’s just so much history there, and it’s such a prestigious arena, so I think if we could perform there it would be great.
What are a few interesting facts that the fans don’t know about you yet?
The thing about us is, we’re so truthful, and we say everything.
We’ve given everything away already. We’ve got nothing left to give!
How often do you guys get to see your friends, and what do they think about the band’s success?
Louis’s friend Stan actually came out on tour with us for a few weeks.
(Laughing) Liam is so dramatic. My friend came out for one week.
I thought he was there longer. Anyway, it’s quite nice that we get to invite our friends on tour, and they get to see a bit of backstage. I was speaking to Stan and he really enjoyed it and said it was a good laugh.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done?
Fans do some crazy things.
Sometimes they chase after the van. We’ll be at an event—wherever it is—and they’ll run up to the van and start banging on the windows, or kiss the windows.
What advice can you give to our readers about becoming a singer?
I think it’s important to just be yourself and have a lot of fun with it. I think a lot of people may take it so seriously that they don’t enjoy it. It’s important to make sure you’re having a good time.