Louis Tomlinson may be recognized around the world, but his childhood friends make sure he doesn't let fame change him

By Stephanie Petit
July 19, 2017 12:45 PM
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Louis Tomlinson may be recognized around the world, but his childhood friends make sure he doesn’t let fame change him.

The One Direction crooner, 25, recently opened up to Noisey about the influence of his pals from his hometown of Doncaster, England, a place he describes as “the opposite of showbiz.”

“I often treat that as a type of marketing. As in, how would my friends from Doncaster – who know nothing about music and fashion – interpret an outfit or a song or whatever. That has always really helped me,” he shared.

“I like to think that if I came out in some awful tracksuit, they’d all tell me about it on WhatsApp, and in three months time I’d be like, ‘Thank you for telling me, I looked like a right dick!’ Because if you get to a stage where you disconnect from those friends from home, other people don’t really dare go there… You can surround yourself with super successful celebrities, but you can get swallowed up in the glitz and the glam of it all.”

Tomlinson said he much prefers a night out with his buddies from home over a Hollywood party.

“What I really can’t ever get used to, or really enjoy, are these super geared-up celebrity parties – where he’s there, she’s there – and everyone pretends to be friends like they’ve known each other for years, like,” he fakes a snarky accent – “‘Oh, how are the kids?!‘ But no one actually cares. You see people who are beyond self-absorbed, and that’s why it can be a dangerous place.”

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Tomlinson’s not trying to diss his One Direction bandmates, who he says are “all such good mates.”

“But I think it was obvious to everyone that we were always five best mates on the road; it was real nice. And as time went on, we all began to understand each other. There are often misconceptions, but we’re all such good mates,” he said.

The father of 17-month-old Freddie Reign pointed out the occasion where he performed his single with Steve Aoki, “Just Hold On” on The X Factor days after his mother, Johannah Deakin, died from leukemia. All four of his bandmates traveled to be with him at the show.

“All the boys came to support me, and I didn’t know until a couple of hours beforehand. It wasn’t one of those stupid f—ing celebrity things where it’s like, ‘Let’s all get in a picture and put it on Instagram and show everyone that we’re best mates’ ­ – we didn’t even put it online,” he recalled. “There are always those little things that people don’t hear about.”

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Now, Tomlinson is working on his solo career as well as putting together a girl band with Simon Cowell. After that, he could end up anywhere.

“In 10 years time, the most important thing for me is that I’ll deliver a good album that people connect with, and then after that… who knows? I’ll set myself a new target,” he said. “As soon as you start to feel comfortable, it’s a dangerous place to be in. That keeps my drive up, that keeps me going.”

Tomlinson’s second single, “Back to You” — a duet with Bebe Rexha — is out Friday.