Niall Horan has admitted he felt like a “prisoner” during his time in One Direction.
Speaking on Dermot O’Leary’s podcast ‘People, Just People’, the 27-year-old opened up about their sudden rise to fame, and his first experience of fan hysteria.
Niall said: “In the UK it was nuts. We’d go and do signings here and there, and it was crazy. That was the first kind of side of it, you know, banging on car windows.”
“Around the release of What Makes You Beautiful is when it really kicked off. We did a HMV run around the country Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, to do the signings and that was the first time I seen the madness.”
“Then we went to Italy, Germany France and Holland in four days. We had a different country each day just doing lengths of promo.”
“I remember getting to Milan on the first day and being like, this is a different level. There was just thousands of people. It was the first time I had seen proper hysteria.”
“That was the first time I remember thinking, oh right, this is it now.”
When asked if he ever felt like a prisoner in the band, Niall replied: “A couple of times, yeah. Because we were 17,18,19 for the first few years, and I struggled with it.”
“As you know, I have to be doing something all the time and the thoughts of just closing the curtain in the hotel room was just madness to me.”
“I really struggled to understand…[I was like] ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk!’ But you can’t get inside the brain of a fan.”
“Now I completely get it, but at the time we were like, ‘You’re our age will you just let us out so we can walk down the street!'”
“We went to all these amazing cities but not being able to see any of them, was heartbreaking. Heartbreaking but amazing at the same time.”
Niall was placed in One Direction alongside Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik on The X Factor back in 2010.
The boy band released five studio albums, before they went on “hiatus” in 2016 – one year after Zayn left the group.
The bandmates have since launched their own solo careers, and Niall released his debut album Flicker in 2017.
Last year, the 27-year-old dropped his second studio album Heartbreak Weather, which featured his hit singles Nice to Meet Ya, Put a Little Love on Me, and No Judgement.