It’s been years since Liam Payne auditioned for The X Factor UK. Ultimately spawning a journey of success that has yet to slow. That’s 9 long years of love for a boy band, and a lifetime of ‘Payne’ for all of the loyal fans who have tracked Liam‘s career from the beginning. Follow along with us as we reminisce on Liam‘s career and his meteoric rise.
Originally auditioning for The X Factor UK in 2008, Liam always had an idea of what he wanted to do in life. He loved singing, even from an early age. You could understand the utter defeat when the fourteen year old Payne was eliminated at the judges’ houses. Cowell decided then that Liam was far too young to be a contestant any further, and told him to come back in two years after he finished his schooling. He auditioned the first time with “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
Two years later, Liam re-auditioned at the age of sixteen. He returned to The X Factor UK’s 2010 season and auditioned with “Cry Me a River” by Arthur Hamilton. Payne wowed all four judges and got a “yes” from every single one. Simon went on to say he felt as if Liam still wasn’t living up to his potential after his bootcamp performance of “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” by Oasis.
Time on The X-Factor
In 2008, Liam made it pretty far on the show. He was eliminated at Simon’s house in Barbados after Cowell told him that he wasn’t ready and to come back in two years. Payne wanted to re-audition the following year, but missed the cutoff as the age restriction was raised to sixteen years of age. In 2010, he re-auditioned and wowed the judges. He received a standing ovation from the audience, and from Simon himself.
He was eliminated at bootcamp as a solo artist, then placed into One Direction with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson. The band placed third, and soon went on to sign a record deal with Simon Cowell’s label Syco Music. As a group, they were unstoppable. They gained a lot of popularity throughout the UK and fans were devastated when the band didn’t win first place on The X Factor.
Time with One Direction
It’s no secret that Liam and Louis Tomlinson have most of the writing credits of the majority of One Direction’s songs. He is insanely talented as a writer and producer, even having mixed “You & I” and “Steal My Girl.” Payne, alongside Tomlinson, was named some of Song Splits Top Songwriters in the World in 2015. The list showcases those in the entertainment industry that are most relevant based on airplay, sales, and streams. (They were placed 54th and 55th.)
Their time with Syco Music lead them to release five best-selling albums during their active years of 2011 and 2015. One Direction’s fifth and final album consisted of Liam on instruments for “Hey Angel,” while he also co-produced and played instruments for “Love You Goodbye.” He also remixed “Drag Me Down.”
In July of 2016, it was announced that Liam would be signing a solo record deal with Capitol Records. In October of that same year, Republic Records announced that they would serve as his United States record label. From 2016 through 2017, Liam started to work on his debut solo album. “Strip That Down,” his first solo single, dropped in May of 2017. It was co-written by Ed Sheeran and featured Quavo on the track.
The song peaked within the US top 10 and reached #1 on US pop radio despite mixed reviews from fans. It also became the highest selling single for a remaining One Direction member, all while becoming a worldwide chart success. Payne would go on to release four more songs that year, including “Bedroom Floor” co-written by Charlie Puth, “For You” a duet with Rita Ora for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, “Get Low” in collaboration with Zedd, and “Familiar” a duet with J Balvin.
“For You” was the best received, peaking in the top 5 of various worldwide charts. It awarded Payne and Ora both their first #1 single in Germany. Payne also went on a worldwide promotional tour, which included playing music festivals and award shows.
What’s In Store
In August of 2018, news broke that Liam was postponing his debut album. Instead, he released First Time, his first EP. At least to hold fans over while he re-looked the album. He explained that even though his album was complete, he wanted to make changes following his split from then-current girlfriend and mother to his child, Cheryl.
In October 2018, Liam released “Polaroid,” a collaborative single with Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella. Stella will be opening up the World War Joy tour this fall alongside 5 Seconds of Summer and The Chainsmokers. Payne also got to sit in the hot seat as he served as a celebrity guest judge for Louis Tomlinson during the Judges House episode of The X Factor.
As of now, there’s no talk of when we’ll get to hear Payne‘s debut album, but us die hard fans will just have to stick around and wait for it. (Unless someone wants to leak like the good ole days. No? Got it.)
Words: Shae Arabella | Photo: MelodyVR