After the members of One Direction went their separate ways, Niall Horan embarked on the solo career he wanted as a teen when he first appeared on “The X-Factor,” releasing his first single titled “This Town,” and following it up with a full album called “Flicker” in 2017 (via Biography). When Horan appeared on the UK Podcast “People, Just People” with host Dermot O’Leary in March 2021, he described when he first realized what fame felt like.
“In the UK it was kinda nuts,” he told O’Leary. “That was the first kinda sight of it, banging on car windows … Around the release of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ is when it really kicked off … That was the first time I’d seen the madness. We did like Italy, Germany, France, and Holland … I remember getting to Milan on the first day and I was like, ‘This is a different level.'”
Horan said he was surprised that he had to close his curtains in every hotel room and that there were people everywhere who wanted to get a glimpse, admitting that he sometimes felt like a prisoner. “I struggled with the idea of ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk,'” he recalled. “But, you can’t get inside the brain of a fan. Now I completely get it. But at the time I was like, ‘You’re our age. Just let us out. We just want to walk down the street.'”