How does an artist line up himself after leaving the biggest male child band on the planet ? He leans into authentic self-expression. “ I ‘m aware that to a certain degree, I ‘m swimming against the tide, ” Louis Tomlinson tells Apple Music. “ I ‘ve had all this amaze achiever with One commission, I realized that I might adenine well just follow my heart. ” And so the english singer-songwriter has : Walls, his solo introduction, is electric pop-rock, triumphant in the confront of tragedy—he writes with diaristic preciseness ( the balladic ode to his late mother on “ Two of Us ” and the ’ 90s Britpop guitars on “ Kill My Mind ” ) and consideration for his most ardent fans ( the 1D-channeling “ Don ’ t Let It Break Your Heart ” and the life-affirming “ Perfect now ” ). In this track-by-track scout, Tomlinson opens up about Walls, revealing a side of himself previously undiscovered.

Kill My Mind
“ That birdcall was written for two reasons : One, I was listening to the album and it annoyed me that I did n’t quite have that moment of excitation, and I think that song decidedly arouse agitation. [ Two, ] it was a snatch of a argument of intent. ‘ This is where I want to be, this is the space I want to move into. ’ But I ‘m mindful that ‘s a transition equally well. I was n’t going to put ten ‘ Kill my Minds ’ on the album, because I do n’t think that would ‘ve been justly. ”

Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
“ Straightway, that chorus reminds me of a big One direction song. It ‘s got that big, great, hopefully truancy choir. In terms of concept, it about sits in the same world as the Steve Aoki song I did, ‘Just Hold On. ‘ It ‘s fair one of those songs that ‘s trying to promote promise careless of what life throws at you. ”

Two of Us
“ I was n’t fix to write that sung. The original lyric on the poetry was ‘ So I ‘ll leave a message after the tone. ’ And it always fucking bugs me, listening to it, because there ‘s then much smasher in that sung. then I changed it to ‘ So I ‘m not entirely, ’ and I think that very captures the weight, emotionally, of the song. And that song is probably the most special song that I ‘ve ever written. ”

We Made It
“ I wrote ‘ We Made It ’ about three years ago, so I had about 20 different mixes. That took a second to get right, and we made it. Listen, I like the sung, I like the song. Would I say it ‘s one of my favorites ? No, credibly not. It was one of the record label ’ s favorites. so I kind of rolled the dice on that one, truly. The strive for authenticity is a constant conflict. That ‘s something that I have to be strong on, a frequently as I can. ”

Too Young
“ I can remember that feel of being 18 and meeting the person that you might spend the rest of your life with. We all made mistakes when we ‘re younger, and I just wanted to capture that mind of dependable honesty. Look, I was n’t ready for that province. And now I reflect, and I ‘m older, and I can look back with have. I can see why that was wrong. But at the clock time, there ‘s a set of 18-year-olds—especially 18-year-old lads—they ‘re not quick for that duty. I wanted to capture that. ”

“ We had an amaze moment for this song in London. I went down to record some exist strings for ‘ Walls ’ —that was a real sleep together break consequence for me, because there ‘s been times on this album where I ‘ve been pretty torment and it ‘s been hard to keep with the energy because the creative process can get thwart. But I had this moment, in this massive, perplex studio in London called Angel Studios, watching—I do n’t know how many people were there, but permit ‘s speculate 15, 18 people there for my song. I feel like the hot strings on it very give it an extra edge of credibility. ”

“ It ‘s got quite a storytelling lyric that I know hard-core One guidance fans will like : There ‘s a line about the place that we all grew up with in the band, and that was an apartment complex called Princess Park. It ‘s like an Easter testis for fans. I ‘m certain they ‘ll like that. ”

Always You
“ It ’ s autobiographical, me making that realization that it ‘s always been that one person and that no matter what you do or what you see, you miss that person. ”

“ What I wanted to try and capture with the birdcall is the idea of feeling youthful and how important that is. I ‘m at this age where I ‘m on the cusp—I ‘m decidedly not a adolescent, I ‘m not a new chap anymore, nor am I honest-to-god, but I sit in this space where I ‘m aware of my old age now. I hear it as a resort area or going back to real youth. ”

Perfect Now
“ I worked on this with Jamie Scott, who was function of the One commission writing team. lyrically, it ‘s kind of an extension of ‘ What Makes You Beautiful, ’ One Direction ‘s first individual. It was written quite measuredly as an try to write a fan favorite song. There is a long history of people coming out of bands and then talking shit about that set. I absolutely fucking love One Direction. I love the music. I love the music that we made, the fans, the culture, and everything behind it. There are songs like ‘ Kill My Mind ’ and ‘ Walls ’ where I ’ m trying something different, but of path there ’ s constantly room for those [ 1D-like ] songs on the album. ”

“ I ’ megabyte trying to be vulnerable and I ’ thousand trying to be honest. I ’ meter trying to write as many different feelings as I can. One sidereal day you might be feeling great, youthful, and amazing, and the next day you might be feeling a small bite down in the dumps. I wanted to capture that. ”

Only the Brave
“ The crackly audio goes way beyond my production comprehension. The way the guitar was recorded, I don ’ t know. But what I love about that song is that it feels classic, like going back in meter. It ’ mho one of my darling songs because it doesn ’ t have a traditional structure. You alone very get the chorus once. You haven ’ thyroxine heard a song like that the whole record, and then you get it at the end. There ’ second something interesting about that. ”