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Liam Payne on alcohol: ‘My family were very worried’

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“It was very erratic behaviour on my part – I was partying too hard,” says Liam Payne

In the offices of Liam Payne’s management company, just north of Soho in central London, there’s a bottle of Bacardi inscribed with his name.

It was sent as a gift, after the singer immortalised the drink in his hit single Strip That Down. According to the lyrics, which he co-wrote with Ed Sheeran, he mixes it with Coke and “sips it lightly”.

There’s just one small snag, says Payne: “I don’t think I’ve ever drunk Bacardi”.

“When I was younger, I went straight in on the whisky,” the star says. “I tend to pick my poison early, then I stick with it until it bores me.”

In fact, shortly after Strip That Down was released in 2017, Payne gave up drinking altogether after his lifestyle became “a cause for concern”.

“There were a couple of very dark years of me going through extreme peril with different mental health things,” says the 26-year-old. “I just didn’t know where I was going to end up.”

‘Reset button’

His drinking started to get out of hand while he was on tour with One Direction – the hotel mini-bar becoming a source of solace as he came down from the adrenalin high of playing for 80,000 screaming fans.

But even when the band went on hiatus, the habit continued. “It was very erratic behaviour on my part – I was partying too hard,” says the star, who’d always been cast as the “sensible” member of 1D.

“It was a tough little time. My family were very worried.”

Eventually, there came a point “where I realised I needed to hit the reset button and take a break,” he says.

“I was coming off the back-end of a break-up, so I was dealing with all sorts of emotions that I hadn’t dealt with in a long time because I was always covering them up – heartbreak, nerves, all sorts of things.

“I’d gotten too used to this rhythm of life; of using alcohol and different things to mask my feelings, or get me through. So I just needed to prove to myself that [drinking] wasn’t the issue for me.”

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The star dated Cheryl Cole from 2016 to 2018, during which time they had a son, Bear Payne

He doesn’t say it explicitly, but the switch to sobriety coincided with the birth of his first son, Bear, with fellow pop star Cheryl Cole in early 2017.

The star had always wanted to be a father, but says he struggled to adapt to his new role.

“I’d built it up in my head so much that by the time Bear was born, it was impossible for me to ever match the feeling I thought I’d feel – which is crazy,” he says.

His solution was to become a cook. “Thinking logically, I was going, ‘Right, if I’m feeding her and she feeds him, then I’m taking care of the family’. Because that’s what dads do.”

‘Success gets the better of you’

After months of rumours, Cheryl and Liam confirmed their split in July 2018, but they continue to share the responsibility of raising their son, who turns three in March.

It means he has to jet “in and out of the country as much as possible”, but he seems content to divide his time between super-stardom and domesticity.

Is that why it took two years to translate the success of Strip That Down into a debut album?

Actually, no. It was that song’s phenomenal, and unexpected, performance (it’s still the biggest-selling solo song by any of the former One Directioners) that threw Payne’s plans into disarray.

“Strip That Down was such an amazing thing to happen – but sometimes success gets the better of you,” he says.

“It took the best part of nine months to get to number one in America – and for that whole period, people wouldn’t put any other songs on the radio. So it was a really weird time. We got stuck with one song for so long that it really prolonged the process of making the album”.

It was especially strange for someone who was used to writing and recording entire albums in six weeks or less.

“Writing for One Direction was a different process because you knew what the kids wanted,” says the star, who co-wrote about 50% of the band’s last two albums.

“I love those songs – don’t get me wrong – but I knew why I was writing them and I knew what I was writing them for.”

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One Direction were the most successful act to emerge from X Factor, despite coming third in the competition

Ultimately, Payne realised that getting more time to work on his debut album was “a luxury” and he allowed himself to “sit back and enjoy the process for once”.

Recording sessions took place around the world, with A-listers like Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder and Charlie Puth. In total, the album credits a staggering 72 composers – and Payne likens the writing process to “speed dating”.

“Sometimes it was difficult because I’d get one or two days in the studio with someone that I don’t know and I didn’t really want to share an awful lot of private stuff with them,” he says. “It’s almost like the first day of school every day.”

His experiences in One Direction helped him be more assertive during sessions; and he turns out to be a studio geek, marvelling at piano sound on Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me, (“they’ve recorded it so close, you can hear the hammer hitting the strings”) and the textural painting in Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted (“when she sings ‘I’m underwater‘and they tweak her vocal so it sounds like she’s disappearing, it’s like Disneyland”).

But as the album came together, he gravitated towards the albums he grew up with – Usher’s 8701, Justin Timberlake’s Justified and Chris Brown’s self-titled debut – shaping his solo career around a sleek, efficient brand of R&B.

There’s a thread of sadness running through the album – “Heart meet break, lips meet drink / Rock meet bottom, to the bottom I sink,” he sings at one point – informed by his recurring bouts of depression, and his high-profile split from Cheryl.

“I’m an absolute expert on heartbreak, it would seem,” he says. “I think, for me, it was easier to write from a sad place, because the feelings were a little bit more raw. Happiness is hard to fathom, I think.”

‘My sexuality is not your fetish’

But it’s one of the album’s more explicit songs that generated headlines – and for all the wrong reasons.

Both Ways is a late-night slow jam that details a sexual encounter with two women. “My girl, she like it both ways,” Payne sings over a ringing trap beat. “She like the way it all taste / Couple more, we’ll call it foreplay / No, no, I don’t discriminate.”

Within hours of its release last week, the track was being criticised for reinforcing harmful stereotypes that bisexual women’s sexualities exist for the gratification of men – a fetishisation that can have violent, real-world consequences.

“I’m sick and tired of people thinking my sexuality is made for threesomes,” one person wrote in a tweet, adding: “Bisexual women are NOT for your sexual fantasies.” Another Twitter user simply declared: “My sexuality is not your fetish.”

So far, Payne hasn’t responded – but when we spoke last month, before the furore erupted, he said Both Ways was his “favourite song” on the record.

In his explanation, the lyrics are about being open to new experiences and different sexualities, as we emerge into a new “world of ‘love is love’ and people becoming much more understanding about the way love is – and rightly so”.

Payne indicated that the song had originated with one of his co-writers, adding: “I don’t know who in the studio had actually been in this situation, because I certainly haven’t, but it was an interesting song to write.”

Whether or not he addresses the criticism, the song is a blot on his copybook; and a rare mis-step for a singer who’s always strived to be on the right side of public opinion.

For a self-confessed perfectionist, its bound to sting; but several times during our discussion, Payne says he’s trying to learn from his mistakes, rather than punish himself for making them in the first place.

“My life is super-complicated,” he says. “I’ve got a two-and-a-half year old son, an ex-missus and all sorts of different things kicking off, so I have to drill these messages into my head.”

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The star says he’s planning his first solo tour for 2020

All things considered, would he prefer not to have auditioned for the X Factor all those years ago?

“I wouldn’t change it,” he says decisively. “I know it’s where I’m supposed to be in the world now.

“I was very confused about fame when it all happened; and learning to be a person outside of your job was difficult. But now I feel like I get it. I’m a lucky boy.”

Liam Payne’s debut album, LP1, is out now on Capitol Records.

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Manchester mayor criticises Eminem for rap about Ariana Grande gig bomb

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The lyric appears on the star’s album Music To Be Murdered By, which was released on Friday

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has hit out at Eminem for an “unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful” lyric about the 2017 bomb attack in the city.

In a song on his new album, the US star raps: “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.”

That is followed by the sound of an explosion.

Twenty-two people died when a suicide bomber attacked a crowd after Grande’s gig at Manchester Arena in May 2017.

The lines feature in the song Unaccommodating, in which the star boasts about his impact on hip-hop. It appears on his album Music To Be Murdered By, which was released on Friday.

In a statement to BBC News, Mr Burnham said: “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.”

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Andy Burnham (right) at the reopening of Manchester Arena in September 2017

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died in the attack, also voiced her disapproval after being informed of the two songs on Friday morning.

“Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.”

Murray has campaigned for the introduction of Martyn’s Law, which would require venues to introduce more stringent security checks.

  • Government backs airport-style security at venues
  • Service marks Manchester bomb anniversary

Hett’s former partner Russell Hayward also voiced his disapproval of Eminem’s latest lyrics, writing: “It’s disappointing but not surprising that #Eminem would use controversial lyrics about the Manchester bomb, dragging the victims’ families & Ariana back into a very dark time.

“Not sure how popular he is these days but I hope any success he gets from the back of this is worth it.”

His comments were echoed by Grande’s fans, who described Unaccommodating as “a pathetic attempt to get attention”.

One fan tweeted the rapper saying: “You’re so disgusting I hope u know that. What u said was very uncalled for and so hurtful to so many people.”

Eminem previously pledged his support to victims of the bombing in 2017, and urged fans to donate money to families who had been affected.

This is not the first time the 47-year-old has referenced the attack in song.

In a 2018 freestyle, he rapped about a brainwashed suicide bomber “seeing Ariana Grande sing her last song of the evening/And as the audience from the damn concert is leaving/Detonates the device strapped to his abdominal region.”

Unaccommodating is the opening track on the star’s 11th album, which he released, unannounced, on Friday morning.

The 20-track album, a follow-up to 2018’s Kamikaze, features cameos from Q-Tip, Ed Sheeran and the late Juice Wrld.

Gun control

In a contrast to the Manchester Arena lyric, the album’s lead single, Darkness, advocates tighter gun control laws in the US.

The song and video reference the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas, in which 58 people died, with Eminem playing the role of an isolated, mentally-disturbed character who plots a murderous rampage to gain notoriety.

The video ends with a montage of news reports from recent mass shootings, captioned: “When will it end? When enough people care.”

Eminem then urges fans to register to vote in the upcoming US elections, writing: “Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America”.

The video also links to a website with information and links to various anti-gun violence organisations including Everytown For Gun Safety, March For Our Lives and Sandy Hook Promise.

It is not the first time the star has addressed the issue. Performing at last year’s iHeartRadio music awards, he delivered a verse attacking the National Rifle Association’s hold over politicians, rapping: “They love their guns more than our children.”

At the time of writing, he had not responded to the criticism over Unaccommodating. The BBC has contacted his publicists for comment.

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Haitian Actress Nathalie Dalizien Announced Upcoming Film Series And Shows

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Nathalie Dalizien is a young actress from Haiti and she enjoys Broadway shows and activities because the acting career was her passion since when she was younger. She has an upcoming project with Motivation 509 and her upcoming project is described to be a film series. She hopes to perform with Actors and Actresses across Haiti, the United States, Canada, France, Uk, and any other countries in the world.

During an interview with Bon Déjeuner! Radio, or BDR! Live, the journalists have learned that she was born in Port-Au-Prince and her first performance was at the age of 5 years old. The 23 years old actress can write her own Broadway plays and movie scripts as well because she appears in more than 11 short movies/videos that she produced with her acting group called Motivation 509. Her taste for comedy is strong and she wants to help the Haitian Movie Industry become better for this generation and upcoming generations. 

Jean-Gardy Bien-aimé is her favorite male actor and she will always be available to perform with other actors or actresses. She starts acting since when she was 5 years old and comedy is her favorite movie genre. She can sing as well but singing is not her favorite. In the upcoming years, she hopes to release new movies and new film series as well. She is her own inspiration and her experiences began when she was acting at her school and Church in front of thousands of people.

Nathalie Dalizien has an upcoming film series that she produced with Motivation 509 and the series will be released in all online major stores soon. 

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Popular Radio Station ‘BDR! Live’ Allow Artists And Performers To Submit Their Music For Airplay

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Getting your tracks played on the radio can make a big impact on your career, so it’s important to approach radio stations in the right way, to give yourself the best chance of making it onto the airwaves. Airplay is tricky to secure, so be patient, make sure your tracks are water-tight and don’t be too discouraged if you don’t the results you want immediately.

Bon Déjeuner! Radio (also known as BDR) is an internet radio station located in Haiti that broadcasts Top music, live concerts, interviews, shows, food updates, and entertainment news across the internet. BDR! Live allow Artists, Musicians, Performers, Singers, DJs, and others to submit album/single for review for a chance to get their songs heard live on air. 

BDR has millions of listeners and impressions online since when the radio reached out to millions of people worldwide. Of course, BDR will help Artists get the right exposure that they deserve and all.

As an independent artist or else, signed or unsigned, one of the main things you have to understand its distribution. With nobody there to put in the hard work for you, it’s down to yourself to make a positive impression. One of the best ways to distribute your music is to submit music to a radio station.

Radio stations provide exposure, excitement, and hype for your music and can help to really build up and solidify that brand appeal that you wish to cultivate. Of course, BDR can help and build you up, so don’t take this opportunity for granted and submit your work or songs today.

BDR is known as the Caribbean’s best online radio station and you’ll be lucky to be featured on BDR! Live. To submit your work or music, go to www.bondejeunerfm.online and check out Artist programs to move forward with your requests.

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