Niall Horan Says He ‘Felt Like a Prisoner’ To One Direction Fan Hysteria
In a recent episode of the People, Just People podcast with British host Dermot O'Leary, the “Slow Hands” singer revealed that he sometimes felt "like a prisoner" during his time in the boy band alongside Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne.
Horan said the release of “What Makes You Beautiful” in 2011 was the real start to the band’s superstardom and the subsequent "madness" they experienced even outside of the U.K.
“I remember getting to Milan on the first day, and just being like, ‘This is a different level now.' There were thousands [of people] banging on the car window. The first time I really had seen proper hysteria,” he recalled.
“We were 17, 18, 19 for the first few years. I struggled with it,” the “Nice To Meet Ya” crooner added. “I have to be doing something all the time. The thought of closing my curtains in my hotel room was madness to me.”
The 27-year-old singer-songwriter described an instance where he, Tomlinson, and Payne had planned to go on a walk to check out a nearby shopping center but couldn’t because the hotel premises were surrounded by fans, and it would be unsafe for them to leave.
"All these amazing cities, but not being able to see them...” Horan lamented. “The police had done a headcount and there were 10,000 people in the street the whole time.”
“I struggled with the idea, ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk,'” Horan continued. “But you can’t get inside the brain of a fan. Now, I completely get it. But at the time, you’re like ‘You’re our age, just let us out. We just wanna walk down the street. You must understand.'”
Watch a clip from the interview, below.
Since going on hiatus in 2015, Horan, Styles, Malik, Tomlinson and Payne have each released solo projects.
Horan released his first solo album, Flicker, in 2017. His second album, Heartbreak Weather, was released in March 2020.