Speaking in a recent interview, Payne was complimentary about Niall Horan‘s recent singles. He said: “I heard the rest of the boys’ debut songs. Obviously Niall had ‘Slow Hands’ out and he had ‘This Town’, which is great, and Niall’s gone down the singer-songwriter route, which is really cool.”
Of Harry Styles‘ ‘Sign Of The Times’, Payne was more brutally honest: “Harry’s song I heard, and I’ll be honest with you, it’s not my sort of music. It’s not something I’d listen to, but I think he did a great job of doing what he wanted to do. That’s the way I’d put it best, I think.”
Payne added: “I think the funny thing is, [Harry] would say the same thing about me because he doesn’t really listen to hip-hop music, whereas it’s like my song’s more ‘Rack City’ [Tyga song] and his song is more of a different era to something I’d listen to, I guess.”
Following recent reports that he was teaming up with Migos on “Drake-inspired” music, the group’s Quavo has told Tim Westwood: “I just came from a video today. My boy Liam from One Direction. We just shot that. Crazy vid. Crazy visuals. Crazy team. Cool guy, nice guy. It’s goin’ up. I wasn’t even supposed to say that. It’s gonna be a surprise though.”
Payne, now the only group member not to have released any finished solo material, is thought to be working on his debut solo album.
Previous reports described Payne’s album as “very different” from Harry Styles’ debut album, which dropped last Friday (May 12). A source told The Sun earlier this year: “Liam wants his solo music to sound like a mix between Justin Bieber and Drake. It’s definitely not going to be a hip-hop album. He has worked with so many different producers and artists. But what’s for sure is that his songs will sound very, very different to what Harry Styles has put out.”
Though Payne has yet to release an official solo single, he did share a snippet of a R&B-flavoured track with his fans last year.
Payne announced in July 2016 that he had signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records. Like fellow One Direction members Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik, he chose not to remain with Simon Cowell’s label Syco for his solo career.
“I’m really happy to have signed to such a prestigious label as Capitol Records UK,” he said in July. “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.”