Liam Payne celebrates his freedom from One Direction on debut solo single “Strip That Down,” featuring Migos rapper Quavo. “You know, I used to be in 1D – now I’m out free,” he croons over pulsating synth-bass and chants that recall DJ Mustard’s minimalist production style. “People want me for one thing/ That’s not me.”
Throughout the club-friendly track – co-written by Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac and produced by Mac – Payne boasts about his wealth, celebrity appeal and newfound career independence. “I’m not changing the way that I used to be/ I just want to have fun and get rowdy,” he insists. “One Coke and Bacardi, sipping lightly/ When I walk inside the party, girls on me/ F1 type Ferrari, six-gear speed/ Girl, I love it when your body grinds on me.”
Quavo appears in a heavily Auto-Tuned, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it guest spot toward the end, promising to “shut the club down.”
Payne has yet to announce a title or release date for his upcoming debut solo LP. In a statement about “Strip That Down,” the One Direction singer said he’s been “working hard in the studio for over a year” on new material.
“I’ve come a long way since our One Direction debut, and I hope everyone likes my new sound as much as I do,” he said. “2017 has been a big year for me already, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of it will bring.”
Since One Direction announced their hiatus in August 2015, each member has pursued a solo career. In 2016, Louis Tomlinson teamed with DJ Steve Aoki for debut single “Just Hold On,” (which he followed this month with “Slow Hands”) and Niall Horan issued his first standalone cut, “This Town.” Harry Styles released his debut solo LP in May.