Liam Payne has advice for members of the girl group Fifth Harmony.
Speaking to The National on Friday, a few hours before his packed solo performance at Dubai’s Global Village, the singer said he sympathised with the plight of the US pop band who recently announced their “hiatus” a few days after their concert at Abu Dhabi’s du Forum on March 16.
The 24-year-old Payne was a member of the UK’s superstar boy band One Direction, who announced their indefinite break in 2016. With that experience behind him, he explains that each member of Fifth Harmony should engage in a period of soul searching before deciding their next move.
“I would tell them to take time out for yourself. Go away for a little while. Don't speak to anyone. Collect your thoughts about what just happened in your life,” he said.
“Once you've gathered where you think you are, go with that thought. Then start to experience people again with your newfound presence.”
It was with that process, Payne said, that resulted in his decision to take the plunge and return to the music scene as a solo artist.
The risk has paid off, with Payne’s first three singles, the hip-hop inspired Strip That Down, the electro-pop Bedroom Floor and the sultry synth-pop For You (featuring fellow UK pop star Rita Ora), all being well-received setting the ground work for his first string of solo concerts.
Judging by the reception he received in Global Village, Payne’s transition to solo pop star is well under way. According to his social media accounts, more than 80,000 people attended his free performance as Payne performed solo tracks in addition to covers of the likes of Pink (What About Us) and his song writing collaborators Ed Sheeran (Shape of You) and Charlie Puth's Attention.
Of course, it was the One Direction-songs eliciting the biggest response, with the young crowd singing along to favourites Little Things, History and Drag Me Down.
Not long after the show, Payne took to social media to acknowledge the Dubai concert as a career milestone. Posting a video of a drone flying away from the stage to reveal the size of the crowd, he said: “I just played to biggest crowd of my life. 85,000. Thanks for making me believe.”
Check our full interview with Liam Payne soon in Arts and Culture.
Kailash Kher responds to Zayn Malik cover of Teri Deewani
Niall Horan takes to the Dubai fairways with Instagram star Paige Spiranac and Rory McIlroy
Stormzy and Dua Lipa win big as Brit Awards join ‘Time’s Up’ call