Niall Horan opened up about going solo to Zane Lowe in a FaceTime interview for Apple Music's Beats 1

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Niall Horan‘s latest single “Slow Hands” is currently climbing up the Billboard and iTunes charts as the countdown continues to the release for his first solo album, Flicker. But though the 24-year-old singer is following in the footsteps of his former One Direction bandmates Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson by breaking out on his own, he says none of them will ever achieve the level of success apart that they had together.

“I know in my heart of hearts that no matter what any of us do individually it will never be as big as One Direction,” Horan told Zane Lowe in a FaceTime interview for Apple Music’s Beats 1. “I have stuff that I want to write about I have a sound I think I’ve got down. It’s a competitive world out there and if it’s a world where I can bring this sort of music out there and be somewhat successful, I’m happy with that.”

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Credit: CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 14: Niall Horan performs onstage during 103.5 KISS FM's Jingle Ball 2016 at Allstate Arena on December 14, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/WireImage)

Horan, whose first single “This Town” dropped last September, went on to explain that the songs he’s been writing for Flicker mark a major shift in his focus as a songwriter.

“I feel like this is the first time I’ve written something from an adult point of view,” he said. “Even the way the lyrics were coming out and the types of stuff I was writing, it felt really natural to me whereas it probably didn’t feel as natural a few years previous to that.”

“I had to grow up a lot quicker than a lot of people would have had to grow up in day-to-day life,” Horan continued. “I was in the public eye since I was 16 years of age so you grow up a lot quicker than you expect. …These lyrics that I’ve been writing recently I’ve shown that.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, Horan spoke about wanting to work with Shawn Mendes. He also elaborated on the experience of working with country star Maren Morris.

“Myself and Maren Morris have a song on this record. We’re gonna be touring all next year so there will be a lot of writing going, lot of jamming with the band,” he said. “If I’m touring with Maren Morris all summer I can pretty much guarantee there’s gonna be a lot of writing going on, whether it’s for me or her or whoever.”

And while the new record isn’t out yet, one thing’s for sure: Horan’s mom already a fan.

“I played it for my mom and then she came to rehearsals and listened before I started the tour,” he said. “I think the initial excitement of hearing new songs but I swear to God, I could sing “Happy Birthday “for 12 minutes and [she] would probably love it.”

Flicker hits stores Oct. 20.