One Direction fans remain optimistic despite their contract remaining unsigned

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Sony Pictures

Former bandmates of One Direction

Freshman Ellory Zietz has squeezed ten years of fan knowledge into her head in less than two months. 

Despite her being a latecomer to the One Direction fandom, her love for the band has resulted in her spending hours researching each member and blasting their music whenever she has the chance. 

“My cousin introduced me to them [at the end of this October],” Ellory said. “[Before I got into them], I knew some of their songs—only their most popular [music]—I just didn’t really know who they were.”

While listening to their music, Ellory has decided that no particular song sticks with her more than others, but her favorite albums are Four and Midnight Memories

“I like to sing and dance along to music,” Ellory said. “All of the songs [on those albums] have the kind of feeling that I like about music.”

One Direction fans are typically knowledgeable about the famous Video Diaries and Ellory is no exception. 

“[I watch the Video Diaries] just to know a little bit more about them,” Ellory said. “I’ve watched all of the Video Diaries from the X-Factor and their first tour. I haven’t watched [their movie, One Direction: This Is Us] yet because I’m waiting to watch it with my cousin.”  

Ellory’s cousin lives in Oregon, and they hope to see each other soon if COVID-19 is able to get under control. 

While Ellory is a recently added member of the fandom, junior Matthew Willemin has been a fan for a few years. 

When the band was in its golden age, Matt’s sisters were the ones who were the fans but he wasn’t too keen on listening to the band’s music. 

“I used to not like [One Direction] because I thought they were [targeted towards girls],” Matt said, “but since they’ve gotten popular again, I’ve started listening to them.”

Everyone should be able to enjoy whatever music speaks to them–it doesn’t have a gender. 

“Getting older and more mature [had improved my liking for them] because back then I thought, ‘Gross, It’s all girly and cooties,’” Matt said. “[Now that I’m older, I’ve realized] if they make good music, who cares, I’m going to listen to them.” 

Matt’s friends are quite unlike many. Typically, boys who are fans of One Direction face backlash from their peers—particularly their male friends—but Matt’s friends will listen to a few songs if he has the AUX cord. 

“If I put it on in the car, they’ll jam to it,” Matt said. “They just don’t listen to them as much as I do because they can’t appreciate the finer musical genius behind their songs.” 

Ever since the British boy band has taken their hiatus, fans have been hoping for them to get back together, and Matt is no exception. 

“[Them being on a break] kind of stinks,” Matt said. “Hopefully they will get back together at some point, though.” 

Last Sunday, Directioners—fans of One Direction—mourned more than when they first went on a hiatus. That was the day that technically ended their contract since none of them had re-signed it.

Some fans, like sophomore Valerie Garza, still find the break good for the One Direction boys.  

I feel like they can still come back, this doesn’t have to be the end [of One Direction].”

— Valerie Garza

“Management was really hard on them,” said Val, a recent addition to the One Direction fandom. “Looking back, you can really see it: five albums in five years—it’s so much, [especially with] world tours.” 

Val hasn’t been a fan for as long as some other people; she became interested after former band member Harry Styles dropped Fine Line, his newest album, a year ago. Before then, she was not interested in their music because of the stigma surrounding their fanbase, which has greatly changed since then.  

After Fine Line was released, she became captivated by Harry Styles, but, at first, she didn’t want anyone to know. She kept it a secret and was in denial for a while. 

Then the initial outbreak of COVID-19 happened. 

“[Over quarantine], I FaceTimed with a friend and [told her] I wanted to know some fun facts about Harry Styles,” Val said. “I also then looked up a bunch of random fun facts about Niall Horan and so on, and just loved all of [One Direction].”

Ever since becoming a fan, Val has become a very intense over-analyzer. She will spend hours just listening to their songs—both the band’s and their individual, solo songs—and finds little paths to other songs released by the boys. 

She has lots of love for every member of the band, and only wants what’s best for them, whether they get back together or not. 

“[My go-to song to cry to from One Direction] is Temporary Fix,” Val said. “It’s so dumb, but when they say, ‘When you’re lonely, you can call me’ and I always think, ‘I actually can’t call One Direction because they’re not a thing anymore.’” 

Although Val knows that the break is what is best for the boys, she can’t help but hope that they will get back together in the future. 

“I feel like they can still come back,” Val said, “this doesn’t have to be the end [of One Direction.]”