Liam Payne may be planning a hip-hop solo career.
One Direction's much-publicized hiatus may only have begun days ago, but Wolverhampton born Liam Payne could be the first of the group to release solo material, even beating out Zayn Malik who's been hinting about his debut album for months.
The "Drag Me Down" singer was pictured alongside Juicy J (of Katy Perry's "Dark Horse") in the studio earlier this year, and although fans speculated that the collaboration was for One Direction's fifth LP 'Made in the A.M.,' no fruits of the session ever appeared. Now, almost a year later, a tweet from Juicy J himself seems to suggest that the collab will be coming soon - without the help of the rest of 1D.
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) December 14, 2015
Whether the track is for an upcoming Juicy J project or whether it'll form the basis of Payne's unconfirmed solo record is unknown. The news flies in the face of One Direction's many public decelerations that none of the band had solo aspirations during the break.
The music will undoubtedly be a change of pace from the folk and classic rock leanings of One Direction's most recent work, but Liam's no stranger to the urban music landscape. Under the pseudonym Big Payno, Payne remixed One Direction's hit single "Drag Me Down," featuring vocals from breakout rapper Lunchmoney Lewis.
He's also no stranger to being in the studio alone. A few weeks ago, 1D's longtime songwriting partner Julian Bunetta uploaded a fly-on-the-wall video of he and Liam jamming in the studio (with a brief appearance from Louis), writing an as yet unreleased song called Hideaway.
Despite many people believing that Harry Styles would strike out on his own soon after the break began, it seems that whatever the material is for, we'll be seeing solo Liam Payne first.
Check out our Top 20 Albums of 2015 to see where we ranked One Direction's 'Made in the A.M.'.