Only One Direction in which to go

Only One Direction in which to go

British boy band stick together, and it pays off

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One Direction - (from left) Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne.
One Direction - (from left) Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne.
Photo: Sony Music

Imagine a band made up of five Justin Biebers, each with an adorable British or Irish accent. Imagine no more. Meet One Direction.

The boy band members entered The X Factor as soloists, but failed to qualify for the "Boys" category. Guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested they return as a group. They did, as One Direction, and came in third in the seventh season of the TV talent show The X Factor.

Since then, they seem to have adopted a kind of "together we stand, divided we fall" motto, and stolen the hearts of millions of teenagers with their songs.

In a phone interview with Young Post, Niall Horan, 18, recalls the moment they were told to group up.

"I was really up for it. To put it bluntly, if we stayed on and soloed, we would've got kicked out of the competition," he says. Teaming up seemed to be a winning strategy.

Despite their youth - the oldest member, Louis Tomlinson, is only 20, Zayn Malik is 19, and Liam Payne and Harry Styles are also 18 - and the pressure of being in the spotlight, Niall et al have taken their sudden celebrity in stride. "We can still live a normal life. We can walk on the street. We can go to the shops. We can do all that stuff," he says. "We just have to watch our timing. For example, we can't walk past a girls' school at 3.30pm. Sometimes we may have to put on a hat or some glasses or something."

While fame seems easy, Niall says the hardest thing is getting the music right.

"We [wanted] to pick some good songs for the album," he says. "We [needed] to have a big, big, big song for our first single. We [didn't] want to let anyone down."

Their efforts paid off. Their single What Makes You Beautiful won a Brit award last week for British single of the year. And they are set to perform at London's O2 Arena - a sign you've made the big time - in February 2013.

One Direction finished their first headline tour in January. For Niall, the only Irish Directioner, the show in Dublin was particularly special.

"The Irish are known to be very, very loud. Ten thousand people were at the arena, and it was crazy," he says. "It was a great night for me obviously, being Irish. All of my family and friends came to watch the show. It was a great night for everyone, I think."

One Direction are off to the US soon on a promotional trip, but hope to make it to Asia as soon as they get the chance.

"We can't wait to come to Hong Kong and look around your city," he says. Pop fans, hold your breath.

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