Louis Tomlinson has faith in a future where he gets to dream big, call his own shots and, perhaps most importantly, welcome all of the ways he might change along the way. Shortly after announcing that his sophomore album Faith In the Future is set to arrive Nov. 11, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter has released a new music video for his latest single “Bigger Than Me,” and opened up in a new interview about all of the post-One Direction creative freedom he’s enjoyed while making his upcoming record.
In the music video, which arrived Friday (Sept. 2), a pensive Tomlinson walks through stunning, lush outdoor landscapes lit by the setting sun and collects stray pieces of wood along his way. When he eventually reaches a bonfire — the sun fully down — he tosses the wood into the flames and watches them burn.
“When somеbody told me I would change, I was afraid, I don’t know why,” he sings on the track, first released the day after he announced Faith In the Future on Aug. 31. “‘Cause so does the world outside, I realized, and it’s bigger than me.”
In a new interview with Official Charts, Tomlinson opened up about the making of his new album, which he calls his most “sonically ambitious” project yet. He also reveals that the free time he experienced while in lockdown during the global pandemic gave him the initial freedom he needed to start making Faith In the Future, the title of which he said he’d thought of “before anything else.”
“I actually tweeted it for the first time, without any context, last year,” he shared. “I felt this magnetism to the phrase. With that statement, I’m not saying we can predict the future or that it’ll necessarily look any brighter, but it inspires hope. Have faith in that idea and you won’t be any worse off.”
“With the first record, there was an element of me finding my feet and working out what it is I could do,” he said of Walls, his 2020 debut solo album. “Deep down I always knew what I wanted to do, but there was definitely a time when I asked myself the question, ‘Can I pull this off?’”
Tomlinson, who first rose to fame as one of five members in One Direction (alongside Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Liam Payne), explained throughout the interview that the lessons he learned from making Walls, working with his Faith in the Future collaborators and finally taking full advantage of the creative control he didn’t have while part of a boy band all helped him come into his own as an artist. There’s one word in particular he repeats throughout the interview: free.
“All my experience from being in a band like One Direction, the experience was incredible but doesn’t feel that relevant to what I’m doing now,” the “Back to You” singer said. “The restraints, and they weren’t put in place by anyone specifically, I’m sure all the lads in the band will have felt their own version of this, you leave the band with this idea of who you are. Ironically, who I was was a member of a band.”
“I wasn’t an individual artist,” he continued. “It took a bit of working out of exactly who I was. I had to work out if I was willing to be brave and say ‘it’s on my head, so be it.’ On this record, that’s what I did.”
Watch Louis Tomlinson’s new music video for “Bigger Than Me” below: