And that’s a wrap. With Liam Payne’s recent release of "Strip That Down", we now have at least one solo track from each former member of One Direction. And so we have the beginnings of five very different solo careers. What a time to be alive.
In March 2015, Zayn Malik announced that he would leave the band to “be a normal 22-year-old” and have some “private time away from the spotlight”. He was, as we all remember, spotted at a recording studio days later, which exposed his plan: to sneak-launch his solo career while the other boys were still touring as a four-man band. It was a turbulent time for 1D fans who, frankly, always thought the breakaway artist of the group was going to be Harry Styles (as it turned out, Styles was too sweet a munchkin to abandon his buddies in pursuit of solo fame, so he waited). Time passed, the remaining 1D foursome toured and released one final album, and inevitably split. A celebrity baby, a death in the family and a very famous haircut later, the boys started releasing their own work.