Year in Music 2017

Liam Payne Opens Up About Louis Tomlinson's Baby, Zayn Malik's New Record Deal

One Direction's Liam Payne got candid in a couple recent radio interviews, commenting on everything from Zayn's not-so-shocking new deal to Louis Tomlinson's legit-shocking baby news. 

Just like the rest of us, Liam admitted the news about bandmate Louis expecting a child with Briana Jungwirth caught him totally off guard. "Well, obviously I was a bit shocked, but he's taken super well to it," Liam said to Magic Radio's Jo Parkerson on Monday. "[Louis is] very excited with what's going on with him at the moment and I feel that stuff like that happens sometimes. He's taking it very seriously."

As for Zayn Malik --- who announced a deal with RCA on July 29 via Twitter -- some One Direction fans were outraged over Zayn's hashtag #realmusic -- but Liam Payne thinks it completely makes sense.

"One Direction was never Zayn's sort of music so he kind of always wanted to find something else," Payne told Nick Grimshaw on the U.K.'s Radio 1 Monday (Aug. 3). "If your heart's not into something you can't just carry on doing it because of fame and stuff. You have to go and do what you want to do."

Why Zayn Malik's Solo Career is Back on Track

Payne congratulated Malik on his new record deal, adding that Malik is "off doing his own thing at the moment, which is cool for him."  

When the band celebrated its fifth anniversary on July 22, Payne tweeted a thank you to the boys, including Malik and indicating that there are no hard feelings between the guys and their former member. (Malik also tweeted back to thank Payne.) He told Grimshaw that it wouldn't be right to acknowledge Malik's time in the band, but mentioned that 1D is doing just fine as a foursome.

"There's too much history for there not to be love," he said. "But it's nice that we've banded together and I feel like we're stronger than ever now actually, which is strange but it's worked out really nicely for everybody."

On July 31, One Direction surprised fans with a new single, "Drag Me Down," their first without Malik. Read our review of it here.