Hey sweetie ! Asking for your opinion on this. I'm not sure I understand why people say Louis is the leader of 1D and that he made what 1D is/was today. Is it because he wrote most of the songs on the last album ? (Liam did too). Like I saw some posts saying that it's partially thanks to Louis that Harry, Niall and Liam are "free" today. In interview I definitely saw that he was kind if a leader for the boys. But how come it is too for business.
We know from several sources that the boys were supposed to have individual, preconceived images that distinguished them as archetypes of a boyband (similar to how the Spice Girls each had a “handle”).
The Sony hack basically confirmed these shallow, idealized, patronizing images that included a description of Harry as “adorably slow.”
The consensus is that Louis, being the oldest, and the member w/ the most experience in the entertainment industry, had influence over the boys in their dealings with management. After 2011, it was increasingly clear that Simon Cowell had a vision of One Direction as a typical boy band that would 1. never evolve musically, and 2. never develop an audience outside of their base.
This is not a crazy fan theory. It was confirmed by Ross Golan’s interview of Savan Kotecha, who co-wrote WMYB.
The interview, which came out earlier this year, confirmed a lot of fan theories about the restrictions the boys had in their musical creativity, and their conflicts with the songwriters hired to write their music.
I discuss it further here, if you’re interested.
So the upshot is that Savan Kotecha lost his job because he could no longer argue against Louis Tomlinson. Many of the writers subsequently had to deal with a more empowered One Direction because of this struggle.
Personally, I believe that what we learned about the boys’ creative struggle is a “canary in the coal mine” about their interactions with management.
Louis is outspoken, not easily intimated, and not afraid of conflict. The other boys, in contrast, do not engage well with conflict. You see how, in interviews, they shy away from questions that are at all challenging, and their body language reflects their unease. Sometimes it can be detected in written interviews too.
Harry has dealt with this by seeking new management and breaking old ties as soon as he was able to. Liam and Niall went to different labels. Zayn also went to a different imprint (RCA) under Sony.
The impact of the loss of Simon’s Syco empire cannot be overstated. It wasn’t just that he lost control to Sony (and in effect owns only 10% of Syco) but that the value of the company dropped from multiple hundreds of millions of pounds to about £60 million when it lost One Direction, and failed to develop another comparable act.
Louis’ signing with Syco is not any different than signing with Sony. Syco is majority-owned by Sony.
What Louis has been going through professionally since July 2015 (which was when Syco’s shares were sold to Sony) is a coordinated effort to destroy his career by 1DHQ. It’s revenge.
What 1D-related media (The DM, The Sun) print about the boys is also very telling. These stories paint Louis as a negligent father, a bad friend, a low-classed, talentless hack, etc. Their agenda is to destroy Louis Tomlinson’s career.
Louis is, as you point out, the 1D member with the most songwriting credits.
The influence of 1DHQ is fading, in my opinion. Louis is making new music. There’s evidence that he has written with the best songwriters at Warner Chappell and elsewhere. Outside of any reputation of “being difficult to work with” (he has strong opinions about songwriting, I have no doubt), Louis is a $multi-million brand. Industry bigwigs are not going to ignore him; they’re not going to turn down a chance to work with him, if he is free and available. He has a ready-made fanbase, and his songs are going to sell, no matter what, just like his band mates’.
One other thing: John Ryan still works for U.K. X-Factor. It’s a source of good income for him. Interpret that how you will.
Here’s to hoping for happier days.
Hope that helps.