Niall Horan says “experimentation” continues in new album

Niall Horan, trainer at The Voice


Niall Horan is growing up.

As The Voice coach and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Niall Horan prepares for the June 9 release of his long-awaited third album – The Show, he admitted his work has grown since his last album has matured for a few years.

“It’s being experimented on,” he told NBC Insider. “I haven’t released any music since I was 25 or 26, and as I get closer to 30, I think you just gather more information as you progress… What I’m saying is a little bit more mature, I think.”

Horan expressed the same sentiments when he sat down with The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show. The two superstars have a lot in common, as they both competed in globally watched competitions as teenagers (she on American Idol, he on The X Factor UK).

When Clarkson gushed about Horan’s single “Heaven,” which was released before the album, he agreed that it demonstrated an evolution in his music.

“We look at those late teens, early 20s as the formative years,” he told Clarkson. “But I didn’t realize how formative 25 to 30 is. A lot happens in your life. You think a lot more. When you change, your music changes with it.”

“Yes, life inspires art,” Clarkson said.

Oh what a difference 13 years makes!

At the age of 16, during the Dublin auditions for The X Factor UK, the grinning boy with the rosy cheeks and tousled mane revealed his grandiose goals in a backstage interview:

“I want to be like big names,” said young Horan, “like Beyonce and Justin Bieber is a perfect example. I’ve been compared to him a few times and it’s not a bad comparison. I want to sell out arenas, make an album and work with some of the best artists in the world.

Horan’s confidence outweighed his signing skills. On stage, he faced judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and guest judge Katy Perry in front of a live audience. He showed no nerves as he belted out a few bars of “So Sick.”

Half of the judges weren’t convinced of his singing talent.

“I think you’re gorgeous and have charisma,” Perry said. “I just think you should work on it. You’re only 16.”

Cowell agreed but saw something in the boy:

“I think you’re unprepared. I think you came up with the wrong song. You’re not as good as you thought you were. But I still love you.”

Even Horan now agrees he lacked talent, saying as a judge he wouldn’t rotate his chair on The Voice for his younger self.

From hopeful candidate to legitimate superstar

Horan fans know how the story ended. He was voted into the competition and he and four other contestants – Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik – were brought together during the boot camp phase of the competition and became the massively successful boy band One Direction. The group released five albums before Horan went solo in 2016.

Horan certainly describes mature today. On St. Patrick’s Day, he was invited to sing at the White House, which he told the President, Vice President and others in attendance was a great honor. But he still maintains a boyish charm and chats animatedly with his The Voice coach Blake Shelton, also known as his “adoptive father.” And he coaches his team members with wisdom developed over his years as an artist.

Not everyone who achieves fame young can mature into a serious artist. Somehow Horan managed to do that.

As Perry told the 16-year-old contestant in 2010, “Likeness doesn’t sell albums. it’s talent And you have a seed of it.” Niall Horan says “experimentation” continues in new album

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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