Matt Healy Questions One Direction’s Artistic Credibility

The 1975 seem to be making more headlines as they approach the February 26th release date of their new LP and recent appearance on Saturday Night Live.  While most of these headlines have been positive and anticipatory; they recently stepped into iffy territory when Matt Healy made a remark about One Direction in an interview with Spin.

The topic of fame came up when Healy said of Taylor Swift:

“God bless Taylor Swift… But I couldn’t live that life. I couldn’t be that famous.”

While on the topic of fame, the lads of One Direction were brought up in which Spin prefaced by saying “Healy learned he didn’t much want to work with famous people” after he’d been involved in song writing with Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall.

“They got me in, and they said ‘We really like your band. Would you write a song for us?  They didn’t seem to be actually that interested; they just wanted to play me this song that they said was really, really inspired by us.”

The song was Change Your Ticket and Healy went on to say that he asked the lads to make his influence a bit less direct.

“Listen guys, fill your boots, the song doesn’t sound that much like ‘Girls.’ But the guitar and the whole vibe of it is a complete lift. So take the guitars off, and we’re good.”

Healy says he was upset when the track came out and the changes weren’t made, and it wasn’t because he wanted to be noted as a songwriter for the tune, but because he wanted to make sure people knew he WASN’T part of the song at all, claiming “It would have been a bad 1975 song”.

Healy says there’s no resentment or bad blood, calling them ‘nice guys’ and states that he chalked it up to a management mistake but credits the experience for his lack of a desire to write for anyone else.

This is where the interview takes a turn that has some One Direction fans upset.  When the interviewer from Spin mentions One Direction’s Made In The AM is a “pop history name-that-tune album” Healy goes on to make a comment about their credibility.

“Oh, well… they’re four guys who queued up outside an arena to sing in front of Simon Cowell. Do they really have any artistic credibility? That sounds like a mean thing to say, but it’s a good question. Like, do they?”

Fans were immediately annoyed at Healy for his statement, and rightfully so.  One Direction fans have seen the boys never quite be able to shake their bubblegum pop image – even with their personal writing style changing – but is it really right to blame the boys for this inability, or their team?

Zayn has been quite honest during interviews after his departure from One Direction and has shown no problem being vocal about the lack of control the boys had over what kind of music they were putting out.  While Zayn said that the other boys liked a different type of music than he did so they handled it better, it certainly doesn’t mean they haven’t wanted to shake the boy band image.

Louis, Harry Liam, and Niall are credited with writing lyrics to songs like No Control, Stockholm Syndrome, Never Enough, and Temporary Fix with more mature, sexy undertones.  They’ve grown up in front of the eyes of millions and while their fan base has, in large, grown up and expanded too, their team has kept them ready to appeal to a small group of fans.  They’ve stuck with the dreamy boyband image rather than letting them be more self expressive in their music and reaching their full potential.

Made In The AM was the favorite record of each of the lads in One Direction and fans were definitely most impressed with it too.  The songs are more mature, there’s love, loss, sex, and friendship, the vocal ranges of the lads are showcased, and it was hard not to find yourself in the lyrics of the tunes if you’re a fan of their music.  This is the type of album One Direction fans have been desiring, and certainly the type the lads wanted to put out – it’s more ‘themselves’ than ever before.

With comments like Matt Healy’s it’s easy to see that even in the industry, people don’t realize the full potential of what Liam, Niall, Harry, and Louis have to offer – and it’s a shame.

It’s also a shame when artists who are willing to question the worth or credibility of One Direction use them in music videos, sort of like The 1975 did in Love Me.

But as one of Louis Tomlinson’s tattoo proudly says – it is what it is.

Perhaps after their hiatus, One Direction will be able to come back and do so on their own terms with management that helps inspire them to be true to themselves and focus on their immense talent, not their ability to stunt, which will be the reason their loyal fans come back.

Written by Ashley

Writer, coffee drinker, mother.