Nearly a year ago, it was the birth of his son Freddie Reign, who will celebrate his first birthday on Saturday. And more recently, Tomlinson lost his mother to leukemia just last month at the age of 43. Despite it all, he says he’s staying “career-driven.”
Speaking with SiriusXM, Tomlinson said when he heard the news of his mother’s death, he felt like he wanted to “throw the towel in.”
“But it was my mum who said to me that I’ve just got to keep going,” he said. “She told me very sternly that she wanted me to.”
Just days later, Tomlinson performed his debut solo song, “Just Hold On” featuring Steve Aoki, on The X Factor U.K. He said this was a “tough” show to do, “but I felt like it was nice for me to almost have a little send off for her.”
As for his son, he said being a father probably hasn’t changed his songwriting very much, but added it has affected him more broadly — before contradicting himself.
“It’s affected how I am as a person a little bit,” he said. “I’d like to say it’s made me a bit more mature — I don’t know if that’s actually true.”
As for whether more kids might be on the horizon, he said he “definitely” would like more children, “but at the moment I’ve got Freddie and I’m trying to stay career-driven.”
One subject Directioners have surely been wondering about is whether Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, who left One Direction in March 2015, have mended their relationship. From the sound of it, they have patched things up.
“I think a lot of us have spoken recently, me and Zayn have spoken recently, we’ve gotten to a point now where you can just really be happy for each other,” he said. “Things have happened in the past, of course. And his first song was an absolute smash, and that’s a great song, so yeah it’s nice.”
Listen to segments of the interview here: