Niall Horan: That's what he likes about his new The Voice job

Niall Horan (29) is back with new music after about three years.

Niall Horan: That's what he likes about his new The Voice job

Niall Horan (29) is back with new music after about three years. The single "Heaven" will be released on February 17th. "Heaven is a metaphor for the here and now, where everything is good," Horan explains the title of his new song in an interview with spot on news. "The generations before us taught us that by a certain age you have to have reached certain milestones in your life or you've failed. But right now my life is extremely good and if I listened to society it would destroy everything. " He tries "always to live in the moment, even if that sounds clichéd. I never look too far back and never too far ahead."

When asked what exactly is going "extremely well" in his life right now, the former One Direction member replies: "Everything. For the last few years I've been very happy in my private life. It has also allowed me to be in a different way writing songs. Every time I've made an album so far, I'd just broken up with someone. So the songs always followed a storyline and played out in a little scenario. My mind's gotten bigger now." He was in a phase of his life "where I'm not a teenager and no longer in my early 20s, I'm taking the next step and developing further".

The singer will be 30 in September - and is relaxed about the new phase of life. "I think 30 used to mean it's all downhill from there. In the world we live in now, people say it's a beginning of something and they see their best years in their 30s." He will celebrate his milestone birthday with a friend, because "we are only about five weeks apart. How big or small it will be - we'll see." Normally he is not someone who celebrates birthdays extensively, says the singer. "The last time was on my 21st which I spent in Vegas. It's not that much fun today, the hangover is getting worse (laughs)."

There was a good reason why his fans had to wait three years for music. "When I released my last album it said we were going into lockdown and nobody was supposed to move. I was just sad that I spent 18 months making a record and then kept my feet still and having to cancel my tour. I had to process that first," says Horan. At the end of 2020, beginning of 2021, he then unplanned wrote the title song of his new album. "After that it took another few months because I wanted to work with a New Zealand producer called Joel Little. New Zealand was basically the last country on the planet to reopen its borders." After all the obstacles he was happy to finally be back. "I think it's the best stuff I've ever done. I hope the fans feel the same way."

Speaking of fans: Horan announced his new song with his own website, on which a candle slowly burned down, and numerous teaser videos on social media. "The fans love it when they get involved and I'm happy for them when we don't sit still before announcing new stuff. I think it's important if we didn't have fans it would all be a waste of time." He feels "I've always been good at communicating with fans online. I love seeing all of their Instagram stuff and TikToks." The latter platform was initially a mystery to the musician and his social media team had to help him. "Before I started using it I didn't understand it. Now I'm obsessed with it. It's a much happier place than Twitter. It's the most creative of all platforms. You have the opportunity to showcase yourself and your talents and yourself being creative with making the videos - I'm really bad at it (laughs). It's all still new to me but it's so much fun."

Also on social media, Horan delighted his fans at the end of 2022 with a U2 cover of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", which he recorded together with his friend Lewis Capaldi (26). Will there be music together in the future? "A while ago we actually wrote songs. But as fun as our relationship is, and as much as we are friends, we are very careful about what we release and wouldn't do it for the sake of it alone. So until we have an absolute banger written, you won't hear from us." The fact that the two have a real "bromance" came about "quite naturally". "The Irish and Scots are very similar. He's the guy I would have been friends with, whether we're famous or not. Our friends get along well too and we hang out in pubs a lot (laughs)."

In any case, fans can look forward to his new album "The Show" (release on June 9th) this year, but the plans for a possible new tour are still in their infancy, explains the musician. For this he will celebrate a special premiere: "I play at festivals, which I've never done before. I'm a big festival fan myself and love to stand somewhere in a field and just enjoy music that I like all the time time hear or rediscover." He is particularly looking forward to his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in June in his British homeland. "It has so much history, I really wanted to play there. And now I'm performing alongside Robbie Williams? It's going to be crazy (laughs)." Horan also gives hope to the German fans, because he is also "in talks" for appearances at festivals in this country.

The Irishman has also landed a big TV job for 2023, for which he commutes between Los Angeles and the UK: From the beginning of March he will be a coach in the US version of the music show "The Voice". "I was actually shocked when they called and asked if I wanted to do it. It's a huge show in America, but I wanted to do it because I empathize with young people," says Horan, whose former band One Direction was formed on the talent show "The X Factor". "I know exactly how it feels to stand up there with a lot of fear and try to do your best."

He only met his fellow coaches Blake Shelton (46), Kelly Clarkson (40) and Chance the Rapper (29) on the show. "It's the best squad I could have imagined for my coaching debut. We just laugh all the time." Blake Shelton, for whom season 23 will be the last, just enjoys the time and "Chance is an absolute dream, such a nice and relaxed guy. His knowledge of music is amazing," enthuses the singer. And Kelly Clarkson is "like a big sister and her voice is amazing - I sang with her and I never want to do that again, it's embarrassing for me (laughs)."

What he loves most about his role as a coach is "to see the performances, choose my team and spend a lot of time with the artists to choose songs and arrangements". In the current phase of the recorded show, he has to choose between two members of his team, which he finds very difficult. "It's horrible. I'm really struggling with it and I can't look them in the eye when I announce my decision. I hope I never lose that empathy though. I'd be a horrible, cold-hearted person otherwise (laughs)."