When dealing with boy bands like One Direction, who've been media-trained practically from their first note (though it can backfire), you're probably going to get better material when talking to other people. So not the bandmates but their choreographers or former X Factor buddies or schoolmates. Not Harry Styles but this person who ran into him on the street, if you can trust that person not to invent elaborate fanfiction scenarios that end in romance. Not the boys themselves, but their hairstylists.
What we have here, then, is a pretty extensive interview with songwriter/producer Carl Falk, who worked on "What Makes You Beautiful," "One Thing" and "I Wish" about the recording process. Here's the link. These things are useful! They're useful if you like their music more than, say, how hilarious their hypothetical perfume line is. And they're useful in other ways too. This one teaches us a lot! (It really is fairly in-depth if you've got 30 minutes to kill.) For instance:
Liam and/or Niall might end up being the Justin Timberlake of the group, or at least the JC.
Yes, this is counterintuitive. But check this out:
Liam has been really, really interested in the whole process. He’s interested in seeing how it works, doing tracks and all that. Niall is as well — he’s very into trying new ideas and trying different chords.
Assuming this isn't a lot of crap, this would coincide pretty well with No Strings Attached and Celebrity, where Chasez and Timberlake cowrites started turning up everywhere. Then with solo careers, at least for a little while. (More points in Niall's favor: he has high notes, and he has this nebulous thing going for him: he and Harry "came up with the most ideas, in terms of music and being involved with some lyrics as well." We're just saying: there are certain predictions that can be made.)
The songwriters specifically set out not to write X Factor winner's ballads.
This is probably the sort of thing everyone says in interviews, sort of how everyone will talk about blending rock and pop and hip-hop, or how every album is unanimously agreed by the people promoting it to be awesome. It still warms our hearts, in the exact way that, say, "Change Nothing" does not.
There is an ambiguous follow-up album in some sort of works to be released at some unforeseen date with songs we know nothing about.
Four songs have been written. Others are half-done. All of these could be almost anything at this point, and we're not learning a thing else.
This guy is also working with Russell Crowe.
One of the One Direction songwriters is working with Russell Crowe. No? One of the One Direction songwriters is working with Russell Crowe. It's probably just for Les Mis, but nevertheless: memorize that. File it away with 30 Odd Foot of Grunts in your mental music-trivia archives. Because you know it'll come up later.