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Liam Payne on life after One Direction: 'I'm still finding myself'

Liam Payne is ready to reintroduce himself. 

The hunky One Direction singer-turned-underwear model is following in the footsteps of former bandmates Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan with the release of his long-awaited debut solo album “LP1,” out Friday. The hip-hop and R&B-flavored set is a mix of confessional ballads and bedroom anthems, including hit Quavo collaboration “Strip That Down.” It also features catchy co-writes with Ed Sheeran (“Stack It Up”) and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (“Say It All”), and guest spots from Zedd (“Get Low”), Rita Ora (“For You”) and J Balvin (“Familiar”). 

USA TODAY chats with Payne, 26, about his personal new album, past struggles with alcohol and One Direction fame. 

Liam Payne, 26, will release his solo debut

Question: This album has been a few years in the making. How does it feel to finally put it out into the world? 

Liam Payne: It’s really great. It took a long time to finish off – not because it was hard to make, but we were having so much luck with the singles that we didn’t need to focus on making the album at that moment in time. I was just kind of finding myself and finding my sound. And also in the band, we made albums really quickly: like two weeks’ worth of writing and then a month of recording. So I wanted to enjoy this experience a bit more. 

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