Liam Payne has released his first solo single, titled “Strip That Down,” in which he seems to be dissing his former band One Direction, fans say.
“You know I used to be in 1D, now I’m out free,” Payne sings in his new song. “People want me for one thing, that’s not me. I’m not changing the way that I used to be, I just want to have fun and get rowdy.”
Many fans were quick to notice that one line, noting he wasn’t “in prison” but also crying about the fact that he seems to confirm that One Direction isn’t getting back together after their so-called hiatus.
“I was boppin hard to #StripThatDown up until he said the 1D line… YOU WEREN’T IN PRISON LIAM LETS CHILL,” one Twitter user wrote.
“One half of me bopping to #stripthatdown and the other half crying about the 1d line,” another wrote.
However, according to Payne’s fan site The Daily Payne, Payne was “very worried about this line” when he was writing the song and “never wanted it to be taken in a negative light.”
“I don’t think it’s a case of ‘now we’re moving on’ sort of thing, it’s more so the freedom to write the music you want to write, and I think that’s what this hiatus is for everybody,” he said.
Payne’s solo deal follows the departure of Zayn Malik from the group in 2015. And in June of last year, fellow One Direction member Harry Styles signed his own solo deal with Columbia Records. Since the announcement of the hiatus, the band members have attempted to reassure fans that they will reunite following their hiatus.
Styles released his debut studio album on May 12 of this year. A representative for Payne has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Listen to Payne’s new song above, and see some Twitter reactions below.