The First Time: Louis Tomlinson

On the heels of his debut solo album Walls, released last week, Louis Tomlinson sat down for a chat with Rolling Stone about some of his career highlights, like the time he performed with Steve Aoki in his first ever X-Factor appearance.

“That was a really special moment for me,” Tomlinson recalled. “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders that day.”

Soon after Tomlinson and the rest of One Direction “graduated” from their UK X-Factor run, they felt their first brush with international fame when they were in Sweden for a recording session. Tomlinson remembers that a group of fans unexpectedly turned up outside the studio. “That was a real eye-opening moment for us, that even people outside of our own country know us.”

The singer also discussed some of his early influences, like Green Day’s Bullet in a Bible live album and DVD, as well as instances where he’s stood up for himself professionally. “In the first 18 months of making [Walls], I had a lot of sessions that I was frustrated with, and not necessarily because of quality — more down to taste, and the way that some of the sounds felt to me. So I think I had to go through the frustration, and then had this one moment where I kind of just thought, ‘I’m gonna follow my heart and do what I love, instead of trying to be so focused on radio.’”

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