The former One Direction member, 25, opened up about his heartbreak after his split with the Pitch Perfect 2 actress, 22, in his new song “Put a Little Love on Me.” According to The Sun, Horan wrote the track around the time he and Steinfeld separated after 10 months of dating in December 2018.
“I’ve still got so much love here beneath this skin, so darling put a little love on me, put a little love on me,” the X Factor alum sings in the ballad. “When the lights come up and there’s no shadows dancing, I look around as my heart is collapsing. Because you’re the only one I need, so put a little love on me.”
According to Horan, the song, which is off his as-yet untitled album due in early 2020, has some of the saddest lyrics he’s written.
“It wouldn’t be my album if it didn’t have a sad, sad, sad ballad on it. This could potentially be my favorite song I’ve ever written,” he told The Sun. “I’d just gone through a breakup and it was all very real. It was very easy to sit down at the piano and speak and see what happens.”
The song is produced by Grammy winner Greg Kurstin, who is known for his work on Adele’s 2017 album 25. For Horan, the decision to hire Kurstin was intentional to turn the track into such a tearjerker.
“When I gave him this song and asked him to produce it, I said, ‘Adele the s–t out of this,’” he recalled.
However, “Put a Little Love on Me” won’t be his next single. The “Slow Hands” singer revealed that the lead song off his next album will be an upbeat track titled “Nice to Meet Ya,” in which he sings about struggling to make a female companion stay.
“I said, ‘Let’s make the craziest song we can make and not overthink it,’” he shared. “I felt like if I’m going to go missing for two years and go off on tour then I’ve got to come back and make some noise.”
A source told Us Weekly in December that Horan and Steinfeld had split over their busy schedules.
“They split months ago. Niall wrapped up his tour and had more free time, but Hailee’s work schedule really ramped up, so they didn’t have time for a relationship,” the insider said at the time. “They still have a lot of love for each other.”
When asked about her and Horan’s relationship in January 2018, the Oscar nominee told Us exclusively that she’s stayed mum about her love life on purpose.
“I feel so lucky that [my fans] care enough about me to know what I’m doing every second of every day, but I think that sometimes it’s hard for people in general to realize that there are boundaries to a person’s life and personal life,” she said at the time.
She continued, “I am a very private person. I do love that I have the opportunity to share with them what I’m comfortable with and they’re there to listen and support me.”
The couple were first seen together at a West End production of Hamilton in London in January 2018. A week later, Horan attended the birthday of the “Starving” singer’s older brother, Griffin, which she documented on her Instagram Story.
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