1D fans everywhere have been eager for updates on the second solo album due from the internet-breaking boy band’s alumni: Niall Horan, whose debut single “This Town” hit no. 25 on the Hot 100 this fall, appears to be next in line after Zayn Malik — though no release date for his project has been confirmed.
One detail Horan has shared, though, is the producers he’s been working with. In a recent letter to his fans on Dec. 5, Horan shared that he’s been in the studio with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, James Bay) and Don Was, the Blue Note president who, as Horan put it, “is a complete legend and has produced anyone from The Rolling Stones to John Mayer to Bob Dylan.” He continued, “For me to work with this calibre of producer is pretty amazing really and I’m humbled that they wanna work with me.”
During a conversation with Was last week, it seemed that the pair had formed something of a mutual admiration society. “[Niall] showed up with a bunch of really great songs he wrote, he sings really well,” said Was. “He was thoroughly professional, humble and sweet. He spent time talking with all the musicians, hung out — everybody loved him.”
Was added that the album that prompted Horan to call him up was not what he’d expected. “I was trying to think [of what it would be], thinking of the stuff I did 30 years ago,” he said. “But it was John Mayer‘s Born and Raised, which feels like a pretty recent excursion to me…but then again, [Niall]’s 23. On that record, John was trying to evoke the feeling of those old, 60’s Laurel Canyon albums — which I think we did, in a modern way. I love that record and I’m glad [Niall] liked it, even though it’s not what you would associate with One Direction. John was highly complimented when I told him about that.”
Of Horan’s debut solo single — Was produced the 1 Mic 1 Take version — he said, “It’s a real solid song,” adding that much of what they’ve recorded for the album shares its aesthetic. “He’s the real deal, man,” Was concluded. “I’m so impressed with this guy.”
Watch Horan and Was work together in the behind-the-scenes clip below: