When the members of One Direction first came together, they hadn’t anticipated forming a group. All five performers had entered on their own in popular U.K. singing competition The X Factor, and they only teamed up at the suggestion of the show’s producers. The rest, of course, is history: One Direction finished third on the seventh season of The X Factor, and then went on to become one of the most successful pop groups in the world.

But given the talents and ambitions of the individual members from the start, it’s no surprise that they’ve all launched major solo careers. Since One Direction went on hiatus in 2015, Niall Horan has released a string of hit singles as a solo artist, including “This Town,” “Slow Hands,” “Too Much to Ask” and “On the Loose,” all from his 2017 debut solo album Flicker. Horan’s solo music draws influences from classic rock artists like Fleetwood Mac and Dire Straits, and Flicker (which All Music called “a big first step into musical maturity”) featuring a duet with rising country star Maren Morris. Away from One Direction, Horan is carving out his own unique path, just as it was always clear that he would.

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