The Inevitable Breakdown of Louis’ Observer Interview
At this point it’s pretty much necessary for me to take notes as I read these things so that I don’t tear my hair out with how much I want to yell at the writer and the narrative.
On the surface this article is sympathetic, I guess, in a way, but it’s one of those insidious narratives that’s even more frustrating because of the fact that it’s pretending to be positive.
I’ll go into my notes and then sum it up at the end.
Things that serve an obvious, pre-established BS narrative
Simon the Saint: Simon is called ‘the great gatekeeper of celebrity’ which yet again paints him as the sole reason that 1D succeeded rather than anything based on their own talent, effort, and merits
1DHQ Were Benevolent Evil Dictators: the claim that Louis doesn’t feel he ‘earned’ his succeed because he never really ‘worked hard’ is weird, I get the idea sort of, but this ignores the fact that we know the boys were worked to exhaustion during TMH and probably at several other points
Hiatus is a Break Up:there’s the whole ‘see where it was going’ thing with the hiatus stuff could be taken as a battle royale solo 1D reference, but it also could be taken as a ‘the band is done for good’ thing which is what Syco and the press have been pushing about the hiatus the whole time
also, it makes it sound like Louis was dead set against the hiatus, but Liam just recently said in an interview that Niall was the most against it, I don’t think he mentioned Louis at all? but I can’t be sure unless I look back at it
really, the title and tagline of the article are all you need to see to prove this narrative’s presence
Solo vs. Solo: writer is far too interested in making 1D’s solo careers seem like an intentional battle royale when the boys have always made it clear they aren’t competing and only the press and some of the fans insist on framing it that way
the entire first couple paragraphs are artistic vomit to this effect
the way they frame the talk about the hiatus seems to lead to this conclusion by saying Louis was against it and could ‘see where it was going’it also says Louis didn’t want to ‘concede’ and then lists ‘bandmates’ as some of the people he didn’t want to concede to
Breakout Star Harry: Harry is indisputably painted as 1D’s star in the article with him being used in several places to contrast Louis’ ‘underdog’ status, this is in line with the solo-Harry-who-eschews-1D image they’ve been pushing since forever
#RealMe: we’ve got Louis’ being grateful for the ‘opportunity to talk super openly’ which is the solo Louis version of #realme, Liam definitely had this type of thing in his interviews too, I think Harry did and maybe Niall but I don’t remember as clearly
They’re using the whole sickly/unstable thing again
they talked a lot about his chain-smoking, particularly in relation to stress and lack of confidence
the most irritating is the ‘curled up in a foxhole, pale and chain-smoking’ comment
they talked about him having ‘personal issues to work through’ and going to Vegas to ‘blow off steam’, since they talk about Jay later in detail, then why did they leave ‘personal issues’ vague? seems like it was phrased deliberately to further the image of him being unstable
they talked about him having a fake ID and bemoaning the loss of house parties
they really hammed up the ‘rigid, ‘plastic’, ‘color draining from his face’ during the X-Factor performance when he honestly held himself together remarkably well and no one would necessarily know the situation by looking at him
bring up the airport mess and then say he can’t legally say anything about it??? he was cleared by the courts, so why can’t he?
maybe he can’t say the details or the blame, but he should at least be able to say something like ‘it was blown out of proportion’ or ‘there was more to the story than the press published’ or something
having him say nothing and then afterwards framing the comment about his music ‘revealing a more complete picture of him’ makes it seem like he’s admitting fault when he didn’t do anything wrong in the first place
Overlapping with the sickly/unstable image is the bullshit about Louis being the poor, little, undeserving underdog who has no confidence in his own abilities and who is more than likely bound to fail in his solo career
imply Louis is a ‘2nd-tier member’ along with Niall and Liam
'most fitfully appreciated’
‘odds are against this tilt’ in relation to his solo work
‘unlikely go of it’
‘concede to [bandmates]’
‘find themselves bound to ride out whatever thrills and trials come next’
‘inched off the hill again without necessarily considering the gradient of the slope’ as if Louis is a child who’s unknowingly gotten in over his head
his music was called ‘modest, rather lovely, and quiet’, which aren’t necessarily bad things, but there are much better descriptors than those weak, lukewarm ones- how about sincere, captivating, and passionate or moving? or something along those lines
called him the ‘Last Directioner’ in a way that’s clearly not just referring to his order of solo release, that doesn’t make sense anyway since he wasn’t the last to release a song???
made sure to include that he had to audition for X-Factor 3 times, but made no mention of other bandmates who auditioned more than once
has Louis praising his bandmates, but frames it as if he doesn’t have any of those good qualities, in fact the interviewer is the one who asks “and then there’s you?” and prompts the mental image of Louis being separate from the positive things Louis said about the others
heavily implies that Louis road on the coattails of the band and that Louis rightfully (in the opinion of the writer who calls him self-aware) feels like he doesn’t deserve the money or attention he’s gotten while in the band
something that is possibly the grossest part of the article is framing Jay’s death as some sort of retribution for Louis getting success he didn’t ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’ in the band, as if her death is his fault somehow
I get the waiting for the other shoe to drop thing, it’s like the feeling that everything is going too well and something’s got to go wrong, it’s not entirely unbelievable that Louis might feel that way considering the band’s success and the fact that he found the love of his life too
still, the idea of Jay getting sick and passing away being related to Louis not being ‘worthy’ of the success he’s had is really messed up with the way the framing and context of the article as a whole
I can’t honestly think Louis thought another shoe would drop either, the closeting and knock-down-drag-out fight with 1DHQ was already the other shoe
makes it sound like Louis foresaw a fight-to-the-death solo career melee during the hiatus and was strongly against it in fear of his own chances with ‘it wasn’t a pleasant conversation’ and ‘I was against it, I could see where it was going’, basically makes it seem like he was clinging to the band to support his career
claims that Louis can’t get collaborators to talk to him on his own
question: why even bring up collaborators in the first place? how many well known artists did 1D ever collaborate with? Ed Sheeran… anyone else? maybe there were a couple well known industry writers, but otherwise there was nothing
it seems to me they’re making it seem like Louis MUST have someone to collaborate with or he can’t write or perform music which is BS
very obvious call for fans to support his solo career by saying he wants to prove that their support of him was worth it through having a successful solo career
ends on a very negative note about his solo prospects, it’s noncommittal and uncertain to the point where it’s obviously saying that his career is unlikely to succeed without ‘wanting’ to say it, the wishy-washy stuff is definitely intentional and in line with the tone of the article
The way they portray Louis doesn’t actually make any sense
first they say that he’s interested in the backstage stuff, that he was the one designated by the band to talk to the label, that he manages a girl-band on the side, etc.
then they say that he was a ‘fringe-member’ of the band that designated him as their spokesman, that he can’t get collaborators to work with him despite being good at managing and behind-the-scenes stuff
first they say that Louis tried out for X-Factor a 3rd time despite rejections the first 2 times, that he doesn’t want to concede to anyone and is going for a solo career despite naysayers, that he was the one who argued with the label on behalf of the band, that he’s decided to go into managing, which all indicates him as a fierce, determined, persistent person
but then they claim that he’s got confidence issues up the wazoo and constantly talks in defeatist terms and is consistently self-deprecating- even if Louis does have some confidence issues, pushing forward gung-ho rather than constantly down-talking himself would make more sense
Other things that were said but don’t add up
they said he was most confident in performing during his last year, which is interesting since his stage presence was greatly reduced sometime around 2013 or so
they claim that Just Hold On was ‘rolled out through One Direction’s old record label, Syco’ but Steve Aoki’s label was the one that released it
it makes it seem like Syco would have been releasing a single for Louis through… old loyalty? rather than him actually having signed, why would they be releasing something for an artist who they didn’t have a contract with?
considering Syco was already claiming that Louis was signing with them during the release, this framing is disingenuous as well as baffling in terms of realistic business common sense
the fans are called ‘fanatical’ and then later, right after the airport stuff, it says that some ‘fanatical’ people can’t see Louis as a real person, the message here is a bit confusing
is this trying to say this his own fans refuse to see that Louis is the type of person who would punch a pap? (which he didn’t do but the article is trying to push a bit)
is this trying to say that the fans that attacked Eleanor did it because of not seeing Louis as a real person?
considering that the fans were sort of? praised for being ‘fanatically’ loyal and basically challenged to make Louis’ solo career succeed, it’s odd to see ‘fanatical’ people (interpreted as fans) also painted in a bad light for the same qualities
the article claims that Niall and Liam are 2nd-tier members and it’s clearly painting Louis as the biggest underdog, so the assumption that Harry and Zayn are the only ‘1st-tier’ members?
ok, then, we’re ignoring Liam’s vocal chops and Niall’s 1st place popularity in the US and Ireland and 2nd place popularity in the UK (via polls) apparently, as well as Louis’ extremely loyal fan following and prowess as a songwriter and industry persona
back to the collaboration thing, they frame Harry as the one who can get famous people to collaborate with him, but Zayn and Liam have collaborated with many more people than Harry so far
Okay, so the reason this article is ‘positive’ on the surface is because it’s revealing some of Louis’ hardships to the public and painting him as an underdog. People like to root for underdogs, especially if they’re likable.
HOWEVER. Very big however. What the article does that’s very clearly not positive is that it implicitly agrees with all the things that are supposedly Louis’ insecurities.
1. Watching Steve playing “Just Hold On” at every show.
2. Lottie & Tommy being in love
3. Watching Ernest & Doris growing up.
4. Seeing Lux singing 1D songs.
5. Watching Liam & Niall doing so well for themselves.
6. Seeing Harry wearing two golden rings, he never really wants to take off.
7. Louis finally seeing himself through our eyes.
I’m so so so sorry but I was going through some things and didn’t have time to write or even be on Tumblr so that’s why I post it after two months.
You heard something beeping every second. Or it could be longer
than one second but you weren’t sure, you felt so good and
comfortable and sound was so annoying. You tried to move your body
and turn over but something didn’t let you. With a sigh of
resignation you gave up and decided to rest a little bit longer.
”Y/N…?” Harry asked, tickling your hand.
You gave him a smile and wanted to tell him how exciting your day
was going to be but you didn’t hear your voice. You made a sound
but it wasn’t words. Actually you were sure that you were still
”Fuck, Y/N, I was so worried, I’m here, shh,” he tried to
comfort you,”I’m not leaving you again. God, I’m so so sorry.
I’ll go tell doctors that you’re awake.” You heard a note of
relief in his voice. However, you were feeling excatly the opposite.
You didn’t know how much time you had been sleeping, but it
wasn’t enough – you were exhausted. Opening your eyes was hard
and everything hurt. First instinct was to check out if you could
move your legs, arms, hands and fingers. Little did you know about
medicine but you were okay.
Somehow you managed to glance over a room but couldn’t see much
of it. You wanted to stand up but suddenly Harry came in with a
”Love, you can’t do it right now,” Harry said, putting his
hands on your shoulders in order to get you to the previous position.
”You had a concussion,” he explained.
”What happened?” You were confused. Couldn’t remember the
accident or whatever happened to you. ”Is anyone else hurt?”
Harry seemed to be confused as much as you were. To be honest, he
looked like crap. You didn’t know if you had ever seen him in such
a condiction, even in Cheshire or after long flights. His hair was a
mess, eyes were almost red and face was grey because of tiredness.
You didn’t know that he never left your room unless doctors or
nurses asked him to take off and that he couldn’t sleep at nights
because he was so scared of losing you.
Harry knew it was his fans who had attacked you. Police caught
them. He couldn’t imagine how sick they must have been to almost
kill you. Remorse and anger were eating him and he couldn’t look at
a mirror. He felt guilty. Telling you that he was a reason that you
were in hospital was the hardest thing he had ever done.
”You don’t remember?” And then Harry wanted to tell you
about everything but a doctor interrupted him.
”That’s completely normal and there’s nothing to worry
about. How do you feel?”
She asked you a lot of questions, some of them were stupid like do
you know where you were or which year it was. Besides, she explained
that you were very lucky and except bruises and wounds you were fine.
You also found out that you weren’t sleeping all the time but
couldn’t remember being awake during last days. They wanted to keep
you in the hospital for a few more days, just for safety reasons
because of a concussion. Soon she left you and Harry alone.
”I don’t remember, Harry. Did I cause an accident? I’ve
always known that getting a driver licence was a coincidence, a lucky
one. Did I hurt anyone?”
He was stroking your hand, playing with your fingers.
”It was my fault,” Harry said. His eyes were full of grief.
You couldn’t belive it.
”What? You’re amazing driver, Styles,” you chuckled. ”Or…
you tried to throw me down the stairs? Was I so annoying?” You kept
making jokes because seeing him was a painful and you were sure it
wasn’t actually his fault. It was Harry, yeah?
”Y/N, I’m not joking. We split up, you went to the store?
You did your best, focused on the last day
but nothing happened. You remembered
flight, airport, apartment, hanging out with Niall and Liam, studio
sessions, skyscrapers, hot dogs, New York, walks with Harry and your
secret dates in Central Park so the rest of the world couldn’t find
you, crowds and screaming fans outside of the hotel. And it finally
hit you. Images from that night hit you. How happy you and Harry
were. How desperately you wanted to get some chocolate and how those
two girls attacked you.
“You saved me,” you nodded.
You were staring at a man who had found you in this
freaking bathroom and you felt relieved.
“For God’s sake, you were attacked by those
psychos because of me! They were my fans. FANS!” he yelled.
Suddenly you felt like you were going to throw up.
You were attacked. Beaten up. Someone did this to you. You held
Harry’s hand tighter but it didn’t help you to feel safe.
“I understand if you need a break. I’ll
understand if you don’t want to see me again. I’ll do anything
but forgive me, Y/N. I love you and I need you so bad,” Harry
“What? NO! Oh my God, Harry, I’m alive. It’s
not your fault, right? You can’t control every damn person on this
planet,” you explained but it was hard to belive.
“I was so scared. Seeing you laying here
without a life, not knowing when you wake up. If you ever… I’d
never forgive myself for tha’. Still, I don’t know if ever will.
I should have been there with you, I should
have protected you.”
“No, Harry, listen to me. It’s not your fault,
okay? You can’t protect me everywhere. Shit happens. Those girls…
anyone found out who they are?” You wanted to change topic so much,
knowing that Harry would blame himself and that conversation would
“Yep, police found out. They’ll never hurt
anyone, I’ll make sure of tha’”
Days were passing by and you didn’t know who
was the biggest pain in the ass. Your mum and Anne kept calling you
every hour while your dad learnt what Skype was. Moreover, Gemma, Lou
and Jeff were texting you all the time. You got a chance to meet
Harry’s family over a phone that he didn’t even
know that existed. You needed to add Niall
who brought you flowers, Liam who discovered his new “talent”
that was cooking and of course, Louis who was playing FIFA
with you and Eleanor who brought all new magazines. And of course,
Harry. Harry didn’t leave you for even one second, helping you to
move and bringing things from apartment.
But the day of your discharge finally arrived.
“You sure you took all of your stuff?” Harry
asked, carrying your bag.
“Yes, I guess.”
Harry had a mysterious smile all the time. He was
very secretive but you thought it was all because of were leaving the
“So, tell me,” you demanded, knowing something
You squinted at him fiercely.
“Okay, so I did something. For safety, of course!”
“Yeees?” You were actually expecting the worst.
“Remember when I was with the guys in that crazy
city I never remember the name of?”
“Oh, here we go again. Please, not this story
again,” you begged, not wanting to hear about them hiding in weird
“So I bought you a bodyguard,” he
“WHAT!?” You screamed.
“Y/N, I think you woke everyone up in the whole
You knew Harry was overreacting but… a bodyguard? A
big man who would follow you everywhere you go? You were scared a
little bit to walk alone again but not as much to hire anyone.
“First, you can’t buy people,” you both
chuckled. “Second, thank you, Harry, really. But I’m not scared
as long as you’re with me.”
“In my deffence, there was a big discount,” he
explained. “Excited to see world again?”
“Don’t know how much longer I’d stand these
walls. That was depressing.”
“Let’s go then, love,” Harry encouraged you and
stepped aside to open a door for you.
You saw a couple of paparazzis outside of
the building and
a bunch of fans. You hugged Harry and he wrapped his arm around your
“It’s alright, I got you.”
“Don’t leave me here,” you begged.
You were scared. You felt people touching you and
they were screaming so loud. You hid your face in Harry’s shoulder
and a few tears fell on your face. It was few steps more and you were
in the car.
“You’re safe here, you’re safe with me, Y/N. I
love you.” Harry kept telling you, holding you in his arms.