And while there's no release date yet for the singer's new tracks or potential album, Payne took to Twitter last month to hint it could be sooner rather than later, writing, "It's nearly time to share what we've been up to."
It’s been nearly a year since Payne dropped his four-track EP First Time and more than three years since One Direction announced its indefinite hiatus. Though the singer has seen his fair share of ups and downs post-band breakup, he says he’s enjoying his time as a solo artist.
The best and worst part about working without his bandmates, he's found, are actually one in the same: having to make decisions for himself.
"Not to say decisions were made for [One Direction], but we made them on behalf of each other, whereas now, it solely relies on you and what you think, and sometimes that can get on top of you a little bit," Payne admits. "But also, it's quite an amazing thing to do."
In addition to his new music, the 25-year-old has also been hard at work pursuing an acting career. Citing two of his biggest role models as Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith, Payne says he naturally gravitated toward the idea.
“I never really saw it coming myself, honestly,” Payne says. “I put a couple auditions into some things and had a little bit of success within them. I didn’t quite get some of the roles but it’s been fun.”
One of those roles was for Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story musical remake, slated to be released in December 2020. The "Strip That Down" singer made it to the final five in the casting process before being cut. However, Payne reveals his dream gig is actually quite different from his music career altogether.
"I just want to do action films. I need to do something, like, really action-based," he says.