Liam Payne will be making the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball rounds this year, hitting every city except Boston on the circuit from Nov. 28 in Dallas to Miami on Dec. 17. But while he has played the event before with One Direction, this marks the first time taking the Jingle Ball stage solo.
“It’s gonna be a bit strange, right?” Payne told Billboard Tuesday (Oct. 10) at Z100’s Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One official kick-off event at Macy’s Herald Square in New York City. “I really enjoy performing and I’m hoping everybody’s enjoying my songs. I really can’t wait — it’s a great end to the year.”
Ironically, the last time Payne played a Jingle Ball was actually what would be One Direction’s last show in America to date, at KIIS FM’s event in Los Angeles in 2015. When looking back on that show, he does remember having a slight “What does the future hold?” moment with his bandmates, but it’s all turned out practically better than expected.
“It was a bittersweet feeling, because we knew we were getting a little bit of a break,” Payne recalls. “Obviously we knew it was the end and the confusion of not knowing when it’s gonna come back, what’s gonna happen next. So there was a lot of mixed feelings around that thing. But I think it’s all happened for the best. Everybody’s really enjoyed their success at the moment. I’m super proud of them all for doing their own thing and doing it in their own way.”
The “Strip That Down” singer’s Jingle Ball trek is similar to the one Niall Horan did last year following the release of his debut solo single, “This Town.” But instead of Horan’s one song, Payne will have three to perform: “Strip That Down,” his Zedd collaboration “Get Low,” and his latest single “Bedroom Floor,” which is coming Oct. 20.
“I want the visual to be really good for that,” Payne says when thinking about how he’ll perform his forthcoming track, which he coined as the favorite of his recorded songs so far. “It’s just a great song, I can never listen to it and get bored. And all my family loves it as well, so I’ve got to give it some love.”
— Liam (@LiamPayne) September 23, 2017
With no further release plans revealed just yet, Payne isn’t quite sure what the post-Jingle Ball future looks like in terms of touring (“I don’t know if I’m ready for a solo tour yet,” he admits). What he does know, though, is that he’s planning on getting a full solo album out and seeing what happens from there.
And frankly, with “Strip That Down” recently taking over the top spot on the Pop Songs chart (coincidentally taking over Horan’s “Slow Hands”), Payne doesn’t really need to worry about rushing anything. “I want to take my time with it and that’s sort of what we’re doing along the way with [Jingle Ball],” he says. “I think it’s better to take your time with things and really see where you are in the world.”