[Exclusive] This autumn, the boys release their hugely anticipated fourth album – the aptly named, FOUR. Perhaps one of the most hardworking groups in history, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have spent most of the last 12 months recording all over the world – moving seamlessly between stadiums and recording studios. Each one of these songs has come together on the road, on tour buses and in hotel rooms.
“Being able to say we are releasing our fourth album seems absolutely crazy. From the very beginning of the process we wanted to make our fourth record our proudest moment to date, and I genuinely feel we’ve achieved that. It’s been really hard work recording most nights after shows - it’s been a real labour of love, as they say!” says Louis.
“We’ve grown up,” says Liam. “and you know, we’ve tried to be more hands on with the writing this time. We’ve written on almost every song, which is ace. A lot of our singles have been bold and more pop based, but I’d say as an album this is a bit more chilled”
The group has, once again, been joined by an array of internationally respected songwriters – many of whom are now firmly a part of the One Direction family; each returning to collaborate with the boys, who themselves have become more confident in their songwriting. The record features big names such as Julian Bunetta, John Ryan, Jamie Scott and Wayne Hector.
“We’ve aimed for the music to grow up with us,” reveals Zayn. “Hopefully we’ve done that with this album.”
Harry adds, “It still sounds like us. It’s just us as 20, 21 and 22-year-olds.”
“We feel like we’ve got some really good quality songs on FOUR and that our fans will connect to them, especially the lyrics” explains Niall. “A huge amount of thought goes into writing the lyrics, it’s one of the most important aspects for us and we spend a lot of our time in the studio trying to get this exactly how we want it. I think it’s a really special album, it’s by far my favourite yet. When we first discussed the direction for the album we all said we wanted to strike a balance of the music we’re into now and what our fans would want and expect to hear from us - I think we’ve done that with FOUR. We can’t wait for our fans to hear it.”
With four BRIT Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards and seven MTV Europe Music Awards already under their belt, One Direction now release FOUR.