I remember it clearly, it was 2010 and the new series of The X Factor had just returned to our screens in the UK, contestant after contestant walked onto the stage to audition in front of Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole (now known as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini); within these thousands of contestants were five people who would reshape the music industry and become five of the most famous people to walk the Earth in this day and age.
It seems a lifetime ago when nobody knew the name One Direction or who made up this chart topping boyband- Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik. But there was a time and I was one of the people who voted for them every week, looking back now I think, even if I hadn’t voted and they didn’t make it past week one of the X Factor live shows I still think they would be where they are now. Maybe it would of taken a bit longer but it would of happened because One Direction aren’t just a bunch of beautiful boys (inside and out), they are musicians, songwriters, friends and above all human- they show their humanity, they don’t cut themselves out of the world because they are famous.
I must confess, I didn’t back the boys much after the X Factor and honestly I don’t know why, I think it was peer pressure, it wasn’t cool to like One Direction. Saying this though, I have their first three albums but it’s by no means my most played album, which is sad but something I can’t change now, my music taste has developed into a rather complicated mess of artists, but every time That’s What Makes You Beautiful plays I can’t deny that I sing and dance. But then again who doesn’t?
I have so much respect for Harry, Louis, Niall, Liam and Zayn. For me One Direction will always include Zayn because he was there whilst they developed themselves and created the music that will live on through the generations. I have so much respect for all of them because they have stuck with it, they haven’t let the bad press damage them. There’s no denying the fact that they’ve received a lot of bad press but there’s also no denying that they deserve all the happiness in the world because for every controversial thing they do which gets covered for months by the press they do ten amazing and heartwarming deeds for their families, friends, fans in general, individual fans and strangers they’ve never met.
As an ‘outsider’ it’s been lovely to see the boys grow, I’ve not followed every single moment or seen every single video there is of them online, I just see bits every now and again which makes it so much easier to see how they’ve grown over the years and haven’t they grown? They’ve grown and developed so much over the past few years both individually and as a group and its been a fantastic development. One they should be very proud of.
So, to Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall, Zayn and all of their wonderful, beautiful, strong willed fans, their directioners, thank you for all the laughs I’ve had whilst dancing to your songs, thank you for enabling me to extend my music interest, thank you for letting me make new friends but above all, thank you for making people smile. The world lacks smiles but you create so many every day, just breathing makes people smile and that is the best thing you can do with your life, make people smile.