July 22, 2016


What Will Liam Payne's Solo Music Sound Like?

Daniel Boczarski/WireImage
Daniel Boczarski/WireImage

Now that One Direction's Liam Payne has signed a solo deal, we're left to speculate what his new music is going to sound like.

On Thursday, Payne announced that he had inked a deal with Capitol Records, which is great and all, but now fans are scrambling to pinpoint the 1D member's signature sound. The truth is, perhaps Payne's style is the hardest to peg.

Let's dig into all the genres Liam has immersed himself in, and try to figure out what his solo music will sound like.

Perhaps Liam's solo music will be a continuation of his DJ alter ego Big Payno? During the One Direction heyday, Liam remixed some of their songs in order to add an electronic boost. There's the "Drag Me Down" remix with LunchMoney Lewis, a song that fattens up the epic drop in the chorus and makes the buildup even more intense:

He made their "You and I" ballad into a classic dance track, adding a high-pitched, bouncy synth to the chorus to have fans jumping until their calves hurt:

"Steal My Girl" became a funky groove when Big Payno and Afterhrs gave the song an organ-laden makeover. This bass line that would make Earth, Wind & Fire proud:

And don't forget that he revamped (rumored gf) Cheryl Cole's "I Don't Care" with a wide-panning, glittery instrumental that involved a bulky bullfrog melody during the song's chorus:

Big Payno has quite the taste for different tones. If he took a dance approach to his solo career, we can predict a lot of diversity.

Liam appeared on "You" with Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, which hasn't gotten an official release since its demo made its way online in April. The song had Payno diving into slicker, sexier territory, flaunting his falsetto while sandwiched between the rappers' romantic rhymes.

TM88 produced "You," and according the producer, he has another song with Liam on the way.

Can't you see more collaborations on the horizon? Liam has a beautiful solo voice, but it definitely could be boosted by other stars. Liam teased this rap-sung tune earlier in 2016, and it could definitely benefit from a Lil Wayne feature:

Pop-Rock Ballads
Liam worked with One Direction partner Jamie Scott on a song for British boy band HomeTown in 2015. "The Night We Met" sounds like it could've been on a 1D album, and continues the soft-rock sound Liam was sometimes showcasing in 1D.

This seems like the genre that Payne is most comfortable in. After all, he has said his favorite One Direction album was Made In the A.M., which was full of smooth rock tunes like this. He also likened 1D's last effort to Oasis, in, like, a good way. We can see him just getting ultra croon-y on his solo songs.

He also co-wrote "Only Human" for Cheryl Cole in 2014, which embodies a similarly inspiring tone.

Liam's latest song registered on ASCAP is "Wonder." He shares writing credits with Afterhrs duo Ian Zachary Franzino and Andrew James Haas, along with Steph Jones (who could either be the guy who sang on this Ludacris hook or the gal who has a deal with Disney Music and wrote for Bea Miller). Keep on the lookout.