One Direction's Niall Horan felt like a prisoner to the 'madness' of fan obsession
When asked in a recent interview with British media personality Dermot O'Leary if he ever felt "like a prisoner" at the beginning of the English boy band's rise to prominence, Horan admitted he did "a couple of times" — particularly as the group evolved from being a fan-favorite act on The X-Factor to a worldwide force in pop music in 2011, which led to the "proper hysteria" of hordes of fans swarming their hotel suits, press tours, and even "banging on car windows" as they drove by.
"I struggled with the idea of, why won't you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk, you know?" he remembered. "But, you can't get inside the brain of a fan, and now I completely get it, but at the time, you're like, you're our age! Just let us out! We just want to walk down the street. You must understand!"
He cited a One Direction stadium tour in South America as a prime example of what he and his bandmates experienced.
"[I remember being in] all these amazing cities but not being able to see them," he recalled, adding that he and the other One Direction members couldn't even go to a shopping center for a stroll in Lima, Peru after a swarm of fans surrounded their hotel. "The police had done a headcount, and there were 10,000 people in the street the whole time."
Since 2011, One Direction has released five albums as a collective, though each member has since dropped solo material. Horan has charted two top 40 hits in the United States as a standalone artist, including 2017's "Slow Hands," which peaked at No. 11 on the domestic charts.
Watch Horan discuss his time with One Direction in the video above.