One Direction Collaborator Breaks Down Group's New Songs

Julian Bunetta recalls evolution of "Perfect," "End of the Day" and other 'Made in the A.M.' tracks

One Direction collaborator Julian Bunetta gives an inside look at the writing process for the band's new album. Credit: Suzi Pratt/WireImage

Julian Bunetta has been a longtime friend of and co-writer for One Direction and remains one of their closest musical allies. Since the boy band's second album, Take Me Home, he's gone from writing the songs for them to writing with the band and watching them grow along the way. 

Along with discussing his history with the pop group with Rolling Stone, Bunetta also broke down several tracks from the band's upcoming album, Made in the A.M. "I've had moments with all these songs," Bunetta says. "All of them are good in different contexts. You're not going to put 'Walking in the Wind' on in a party. You're not going to put on 'Never Enough' when you wanna just sulk. They all have their place and their time."

"Hey Angel"
"[A couple weeks ago] I played the demo of [this song] for some friends, and if you could've heard what it was compared to what it is now, you would be very surprised. The demo was this danky little version with bad-attitude singing not done by the band. This one is very special to me."

"Perfect"
"That one took a long time, just because it was written over a couple different continents. It started as one thing and ended up where it is. Good driving song."

"End of the Day"
"Here's a little fact about 'End of the Day': It was written during Four, at the end of [the sessions for] Four. But it was not the same 'End of the Day' as we know it. It was just a little bit of the melody; it was some of the verse lyrics and some of the chorus melody. It was written at the very, very end of Four, but there was no way it was ever going to get there, and it survived through a year of scrutiny. We re-worked the lyric and re-wrote it. That one was our link to the past. Good chorus."

"If I Could Fly"
"I remember when Harry first played it to me. That one I didn't write, but I remember when I first heard it. We were in Westlake Studio for a week. I kept asking why he wanted to call it 'If I Could Fly.' It's a great song, so it doesn't really matter what it's called, does it?"

"Never Enough"
"'Never Enough' had an interesting life. It has a Stevie Wonder horn riff, and we've spent many nights in hotel rooms dancing to that one."

"Olivia"
"This one is very near and dear to my heart. Harry, John [Ryan, co-writer] and I were in Westlake and trying to write one thing and came out with this. I don't know how it came out. We couldn't write anything for a couple days, and we couldn't focus. We were trying to write things, and they were bad. Then we would just laugh and order food and hang out. Then all of a sudden, at the very end of the day when Harry was going to leave, he was sort of saying the chorus phrase, so we just sat there and wrote it really quick. It came out really, really quick. That one was so fun because it has a full orchestra we recorded at Abbey Road: four trumpets, four trombones, three french horns, flute, clarinet, harp. That was an incredibly adult, musically indulgent song that we all had a lot of fun making. It makes me so happy. But 'Olivia' was Harry's genius."

"What a Feeling"
"I remember the first time I heard this one. Jamie [Scott, co-writer] played it for me, and I was so mad when I first heard that. I was so pissed off because the chorus was so good. I was just jealous. The harmonies on that song ... I've had so many nights at my house having little dance parties to that song."

"I Want to Write You a Song"
"This one has one of [my favorite] lines. It's so simple. I think that one of the best lines on the album is in that song. Personally."

"Walking in the Wind"
"That title was born in Japan. Just the title of it and the idea of it. Everyone's different experiences of what they're going through, whether it's this or that, I'd like to think that these songs can apply to more than just [one instance]."

"A.M."
"This one was written in a black cab while driving around London. Literally. The whole song was written in a black cab, driving around London with a guitar and a laptop and other things. 'A.M.' is the perfect example of the album's layers and levels. On the surface, the title of the album is because of a lyric in this song on the album, right? But then, just as a cheeky nod and ode because of Up All Night and Midnight Memories, Made in the A.M. establishes a theme. You can sort of go from there. In terms of our personal experiences together, the times we spend writing and the times we spend opening up to each other, there are so many meanings. Hopefully the listeners will get that after a long time of listening to this. That was the goal."