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Liam Payne signs to Capitol

By | Published on Friday 22 July 2016

Liam Payne

So, despite rumours of a Harry Styles solo deal, it’s Liam Payne who gets to be the first technically still serving member of One Direction to sign a record contract on his own. Hey, you’ve got to take the accolades where you can.

Zayn Malik was actually first, of course. But he quit the band before signing to RCA, so it doesn’t count. And Harry may well have signed to Columbia, but he hasn’t actually officially told anyone yet, so it’s no dice for him. Liam is the one who gets to set the post-1D agenda, and he’s done it by sending fans into a panic that the group, rather than being on a genuine hiatus, might actually have split up. I know, I was just as shocked as you.

“I’m really happy to have signed to such a prestigious label as Capitol Records UK”, began Payne’s press statement, innocuously enough. “Capitol Records has an amazing history stretching right back before even Frank Sinatra and I’m really looking forward to becoming part of their story”.

So that all seems fine. But then he said: “One Direction will always be my family; I’m now excited to show what I can do as a solo artist”.

So what are the issues with this sentence? He says that One Direction will “always” be his family. And people go back to their families all the time, don’t they? Though only usually for Christmas and the odd weekend. Maybe slightly longer for a holiday.

Though long term only if something really bad happens. And if Payne reckons he’s got some exciting things up his sleeve as a solo artist, he’s presumably hoping that he’ll not have to go back to his childhood bedroom anytime soon.

In signing to Universal’s Capitol, Payne is the first One Direction boy to exit home-of-1D Sony Music. With two more 1Ders to still sign, which of the mega-majors will secure the most members of the former boyband? That’s the question no one’s asking, isn’t it? Perhaps Niall Horan will throw us a curveball, launch a metal band and sign to Earache? Now, that’d have the 1D faithful in a real panic. Even though Charlie Simpson will tell you, the pop-to-rock shift is always reversible.