His fans are loyal and dedicated, his lyrics are honest and relatable, and his sound is organic. That is probably what Louis Tomlinson would say if you asked him what’s being an artist to him. Even though he now has an album out, Walls, and will soon be going back on tour, Louis has not always had it easy. It has been a long way for him, to say the least. From the early moments of his solo career to the success of his debut album, we will analyze why Louis Tomlinson‘s solo career is unique (and singular).
2016: Jumping into the unknown…
Louis Tomlinson’s solo career started with baby steps. When some of his former bandmates from One Direction were thinking of what path they would take, Louis was still reflecting on whether he should keep making music or not.
As a reminder, he had taken a while to find his role in the band. A place that he found by being the most prolific writer with 37 songs written or co-written. This led him to be more confident in his writing skills, but also made him rethink of a solo career. Louis found himself wondering if he would be able to make it on his own and carry himself, his music, and his lyrics.
Finally, the time he took and the unstoppable support of his fans brought him to start working on his solo career and releasing his first single in December 2016 featuring Steve Aoki, ‘Just Hold On’. Louis performed it on the X-Factor on December 10th, accompanied by Steve Aoki who’d canceled a show in Las Vegas to support him. A moment of bravery and emotion in which he showed he was one of the strongest artists of his generation.
2017: Learning to try, trying to learn
The success of ‘Just Hold On’ (who went number 1 on the charts after the X-Factor performance), encouraged Louis to keep on trying new things and work with other artists. In July 2017, he released a new single entitled ‘Back To You’ featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farms Animals.
The music video filmed in Doncaster, Louis’ oh so dear hometown, showed both of the singers and some of Louis’ friends in many places around town. Another way for Louis to show everyone he knew where he belonged. Many memorable live performances of ‘Back To You’, at the Teen Choice Awards, or the iHeart Village Festival helped them climb the charts.
Finally, in December 2017, Louis performed his brand new single ‘Miss You’, on which he was the only one to sing, in front of the British Royal Family at the Royal Variety. This single marks the end of an era.
2018 – early 2019: Building himself
2018 was a blank year publicly for Louis. He later explained that he needed to take some time and rethink the type of music he wanted to do. Not that he wasn’t happy with his previous songs, but he needed to find his sound.
However, the time he took for himself, and his reflection was worth it. In March 2019, Louis released a new single called ‘Two Of Us’, piano-driven, with what are probably the most touching lyrics he’s ever written. The hopeful song is a tribute to his late mother Johannah.
A black-and-white music video aired later on his YouTube channel. But the Doncaster boy decided to take it further and contacted Richard, a Sheffield inhabitant whose wife had passed away a few years ago. On the Bucketlist Video of Two Of Us, Louis made Richard’s wishes come true: ride a roller-coaster, tattoo him, drive a race car, fly in a helicopter, and even sing on stage.
The music video was one of the best illustrations of him telling his mother someday: “Let’s make someone happy today”.
2019: Gaining self-confidence
In an Instagram post published in April 2019, Louis explained he redefined the concept of success. His vision of things was changing, just like his sound. He was done chasing radios, top of the charts, and general praise. The research of his sound and the music he wants to make is now his main objective.
That is how he ended up surprising everyone with his new single ‘Kill My Mind’ in September 2019. The song is an indie-pop anthem inspired by the British pop-rock bands of the ’90’s Louis grew up listening to. And as a reward for their patience and support, Louis invited many fans to the recording of the music video in London.
In between performances at various festivals all around the globe, Louis kept on releasing other singles. ‘We Made It’ in October and ‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’ in November. Not only were the singles a preview of the upcoming album, but their music videos also told a story under the direction of Charlie Lightening. To sum it up: creativity, talent, and honesty made Louis’ new music the recipe for his success.
2020: Walls, the consecration
Finally, Louis dropped his debut album Walls on January 31st, 2020, a few days after releasing the title track. ‘Walls’, the single is Louis’ proudest song in terms of lyrics, and also one of his most remarkable music videos. Partly shot in Morocco, it tells a story that images explain better than words.
Walls, the album, not only is an achievement for Louis but also a relief. After years of writing, working on it, recording, changing his mind, there he was. With an album topping the charts and getting #1 on the Worldwide Charts and being #1 in 53 countries.
All of the songs featured on the album have their specificity. Something that will make it hard for the fans to pick a favorite. Louis seems to navigate easily through soft sounds to more pop/indie ones… And just about conquered the heart of his fans for good.
When asked to describe Walls, Louis likes to remind his loyal Louies that his lyrics are honest and that he wants them to be relatable. Overall, his sound is a mix of all of his inspirations. From his experience in a boyband to his childhood memories, his music represents who he is. That gives some soft tracks (‘Too Young’, ‘Perfect Now’), vibey ones (‘Always You’, ‘We Made It’), and pop/indie ones, as we previously said. Some other ones like ‘Habit’ and ‘Defenceless’ suit exactly what Louis’ sound is. Unique, organic, and honest.
In the meantime, Louis started his worldwide tour in Spain with two shows in Barcelona and Madrid. He will resume it from February with the first stop in Milan. The tour is sold out in Europe and many other cities, such as New-York (night 1). And as he said it, he can’t wait to go back on stage, almost as much as we do.
That’s it for our wrap-up of Louis Tomlinson’s solo career, and why we think it’s unique! Do you stan Louis? Did you like his album? Are you going to see him on tour? Let us know by tweeting us @thehoneypop or leave a comment below! There’s also Instagram or Facebook!
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