Hi sea! I just wanted to share a thought. Louis said that in the last year of 1d he felt the most confident and i guess i could see it, but when you watch videos or stuff from around TMH era, he seemed more confident to me? Or am i going crazy? look at how he was on stage around that time, his singing, his MOVEMENTS!!! i know his team is responsible for changing him and his mannerisms through the year but idk i feel like he was much more confident way before? what do you think?
First, I hope you are having a great day. With Louis’s recent photos, my eyeballs are super happy. I am also feeling hopeful for his music.
I know there is contention in the fandom right now about this issue of confidence, which ultimately has to do with the presentation of Louis’s image. Is he a cool, collected leader/ mogul-in-training/ game player? Or is he a timid/ self-deprecating/ humble also-ran?
I think I would separate it into MUSICIANSHIP and MORALE.
Before Louis auditioned for TXF, he posted this:
His technique was confident, he sang on pitch, he had good breath support. We know that he could carry the chorus of many 1D songs during TMH and UAN, including WMYB.
Since then, there have been live performances where, for whatever reason, Louis’s technique has deteriorated. Then again, like the rest of the boys, Louis sang without good training and without the optimal care to his voice– in addition to injurious factors such as consecutive performances, the lack of good rest, poor habits (alcohol, smoking, late eating, etc.).
One Direction fans were so uniformly supportive that their feedback could not be used as reliable criticism. Therefore their feedback came from their handlers– management and label– who used their trust to manipulate their sense of self-worth.
When Louis was told to censor his mannerisms, around early 2013, something changed. Not only did this affect his interaction with his bandmates, it affected his sense of self on stage. His eyes became uncertain every time he averted his gaze. He was made to feel isolated. The isolation showed in his stage persona.
It seems to me that after this, Louis convinced himself that his talent was not in performance but in other aspects of pop music– songwriting, A&R work. The fact that he threw himself into songwriting, and confronted management about stylistic changes in the band’s sound and image (& got Savan fired), shows that his musicianship was as confident as ever. He changed focus from performance to A&R, but he felt stronger in his musical knowledge, and it showed in his songs. To go from writing “Story of My Life” to “What a Feeling” is a huge step. No one who is timid or meek would take a risk/ show an improvement like that.
I want to emphasize that Louis’s feelings did not have to do with self-loathing or shame. He is not a timid person. He is not afraid of confrontation. He does not bow down to intimidation. His actions and feelings were a response to an attempt to manage his image, and by doing so, taking away some of his power.
The portrayal of Louis as someone uncertain of himself, biding time until One Direction came back… well, it’s a pretty lame explanation for someone whose career seems to be stalled for no reason– at least reasons that can be printed.
You’re right. Louis started as a confident person– his stage presence was exuberant and fun. One print interview can’t remove hundreds of hours of tour videos. They can’t erase flamboyant Louis with one rewrite of history.
On the other hand, there’s no doubt in my mind that Project No Control and Project JHO helped boost his confidence– both because fans believed in him, and because these are songs in which performer-Louis could shine as brightly as songwriter-Louis.
I also think that this portrayal of Louis as an underdog helps to explain the excessively dumb stunts he continues to have to do. Lack of self-esteem explains why he’s stuck with a third-rate label, tolerates shitty management and PR, “because he couldn’t do any better.” It’s a tautological explanation from his people, excusing themselves for being so incredibly bad.
That was quite a long answer! Hope it was okay. Tomorrow… sportswear (but what was today?).