New directions for One Direction

New directions for One Direction
ONE DIRECTION: (from left) Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.

It is official - English music mogul Simon Cowell has given the go-ahead for his cash cow One Direction to, well, explore new directions.

But this does not mean the ever-swirling rumours of the UK boy band's break-up are finally proven true.

Cowell, 55, dished out some advice for the boys at the recent Brit Awards, where they took home the Best British Video award for You & I.

One Direction was formed on Cowell's reality TV singing competition The X Factor in 2010, after which he signed them to his label Syco Music.

"I hear speculation all the time that they're going solo. My advice is they should stay together but still do things they want as a little bit on the side," Cowell said about the famous pop quintet, who will be in town next week for their first concert here at the National Stadium.

More than 30,000 tickets have been sold so far.

Fans can heave a sigh of relief for now at least because a split is highly unlikely when One Direction are still on their On The Road Again world tour.

But with Cowell's approval for some surprises on the side, what better time than now to let our imagination run wild with possibilities?

ZAYN MALIK, 22

Solo project forecast: Rapper

Are we looking at the next Drizzy, Breezy or - gasp! - Yeezy?

(That's Drake, Chris Brown and Kanye West, FYI.)

Word that the enigmatic Malik is seeking a rap career has been spreading like wildfire after his collaboration with UK DJ-producer Naughty Boy.

The pair last co-wrote One Chance to Dance, a track that failed to make it onto One Direction's latest album Four (2014).

Naughty Boy recently confirmed that Malik had been working with him on new music and that the latter will feature on his upcoming album.

"It's a good time for Zayn to showcase what he can really do," he told UK newspaper The Sun, adding that Cowell is "happy" with and supportive of their song together.

HARRY STYLES, 21

Solo project forecast: Actor

Underneath those famous, unruly curls lies a brimming well of charm and charisma - fans can vouch for this - which is his golden ticket to Tinseltown.

The heart-throb of One Direction has already made an impression on big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who once offered him a movie role he had to turn down because of touring commitments.

Weinstein told The Sun: "There's no question he will enter the movie business. I get from him that he wants to."

He wants Styles on the big screen so badly that "he doesn't even have to audition " him.

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