Even at the height of his One Direction fame, Louis Tomlinson always felt like an outsider in Hollywood, the singer reveals in a new interview with Noisey. In fact, the artist says his newfound solo career “kind of happened by accident.”
“There was a six-month period where I was just writing. I wasn’t writing for me — I was writing for other people — and then we got the Steve [Aoki] song and everything started happening quickly,” Tomlinson explains, referencing “Just Hold On,” his recent single with the DJ. “Before long, I’d got a call saying I could play the X Factor final, which was such a big f—ing deal for me. I felt a real sense of fulfillment doing that.”
But back in 2010, when Tomlinson was heading into his third audition for the U.K. version of The X Factor — an audition that would eventually lead to his joining One Direction — Tomlinson felt out of place, noting that his hometown “Doncaster is the opposite of showbiz.”
The most difficult thing for the singer to get used to? Hollywood parties, though he notes that he did go through a “party stint” during his last year as part of the boy band.
“What I really can’t ever get used to, or really enjoy, are these super geared-up celebrity parties … everyone pretends to be friends like they’ve known each other for years … but no one actually cares,” he explains. “You see people who are beyond self-absorbed, and that’s why it can be a dangerous place.”
The good news is, Tomlinson also reveals that he and the rest of One Direction — Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Harry Styles, and even former member Zayn Malik — are still “best mates.” Tomlinson recalls, for example, that his bandmates came to support his performance of “Just Hold On” for The X Factor‘s recent finale.
“There are often misconceptions, but we’re all such good mates. If you look at the X Factor final, when I performed my song with Steve [Aoki], all the boys came to support me, and I didn’t know until a couple of hours beforehand,” he says. “It wasn’t one of those stupid f—ing celebrity things where it’s like, ‘Let’s all get in a picture and put it on Instagram and show everyone that we’re best mates’ — we didn’t even put it online.”