Louis Tomlinson’s career has been on the rise ever since One Direction went on an open-ended hiatus and he embarked on a career as a solo artist.
His personal life, however, has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, ranging from the birth of son Freddie in 2016 to, later that same year, the death of his mother, Johannah Deakin, who lost her battle with leukemia at age 43.
Then, in March 2019, his half-sister Félicité was found dead of an overdose. She was just 18.
Tomlinson addresses the loss of his mother on “Two of Us”, a track on his latest album, Walls, and the 28-year-old singer opens up about the emotional track in an interview with Telegraph Magazine.
“What’s amazing about this job is that regardless of the situation, you get something positive at the end of it,” he says. “That’s obviously an emotionally heavy song for me, but fans have come up to me in floods of tears and talked about how it’s helped in their own tragedy. It’s incredible. From the dark, you can give hope.”
He and his mother, he tells the magazine, were particularly close, and grew closer as he became increasingly famous.
“One thing I’ve learnt since losing her is that any decision, even if I knew the answer, I’d call her,” he says. “I didn’t realize how reliant I’d become on her. That was the hardest thing for me, understanding that living life after meant making decisions on my own. I thought I’d always have a sounding board. There was a different level of credibility with my mum, because I idolized her.”
As he explains, both deaths “felt very individual, and hit me with a big impact… but I think dealing with the family, how I can be there for them, that was a lot easier the second time because the first time I was grieving and didn’t know what to say. As time went on I grew to understand what to say to my sisters.”
He adds: “Without being too soppy, I like looking after people, it’s cool. At the moment I’m stressing trying to convince [younger sisters] Daisy and Phoebe to go to sixth form. They’ve been to private school near Donny, and it’s proper expensive. I’m paying for it thinking they’re staying on, but now they don’t want to go. I told them education is important. I’m like, “You’re 16, you haven’t got a f**king idea what the real world is,”’ he says.
During the extensive interview, Tomlinson also admits that after the decision was made that One Direction would go their separate ways, he “was bitter and angry, I didn’t know why we couldn’t just carry on. But now, even though I don’t fully understand everyone’s individual reasons, I respect them.”
In fact, he reveals that he would have handled the hiatus differently. “It if was up to me, yeah. I’d maybe have said, ‘Let’s have a year off.’ But yeah, probably. I’m sure there’s a better analogy out there but it’s a bit like [shutting down] Coca-Cola. You don’t say, ‘Right, let’s hang the boots up on that,’ because it’s a massive thing.”
You can read the interview in its entirety in the latest edition of Telegraph Magazine.