Radio Feedback: One Direction On The Surrealism Of Hearing ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ On The Radio

Welcome to Radio Feedback,’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.

It’s hard to remember a time when One Direction wasn’t being played on pop radio.

As a crowd of eager fans waited outside their hotel for a glimpse of the British boy banders, asked them to recall the first time they heard their song on the radio. This was last March, just as 1D was starting to break big stateside, during a visit to New York in promotion of the U.S. release of debut album Up All Night. Apparently the guys had heard their breakthrough single “What Makes You Beautiful” just two days earlier for the first time in the U.S.

“We were on our way to a signing and it came on on the radio station and we all sat in the car [thinking], ‘This is sick!'” Zayn Malik said.

“It was really exciting because it’s really surreal to be in America and hear our song on the radio,” Liam Payne added.

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As for U.K. airplay, “What Makes You Beautiful” had been in rotation on U.K. radio since its release in September 2011. Niall Horan said that the band heard “What Makes You Beautiful” for the first time the very day their single went to radio in the U.K.

“We went into the radio station to hear it for the first time and then about 15-20 minutes later, we were heading back home and it came on the radio,” he said. “We were all super excited.”

While the guys were thrilled to hear their music on the radio, they were even more ecstatic that the fans were finally able to hear their new single.

“The fans had waited so long because we spent a bit of time trying to find a single and record the album,” he said. “[They] waited pretty patiently so it was good for them to hear it as well. We were obviously pretty excited to hear a song that we had known about for a long time but no one else had on the radio for the first time and hear DJs talking about it.”

One Direction just kicked off their U.S. headlining tour. Complete dates for their Take Me Home Tour are below.

6/18 – Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
6/19 – Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
6/21- Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
6/22 – Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
6/23 – Washington, DC, Verizon Center
6/25 – Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
6/26 – Boston, MA, Comcast Center
6/28 – Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
6/29 – Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
7/2 – East Rutherford, NY, Izod Center
7/5 – Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium
7/6 – Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium
7/8 – Pittsburgh, PA, Consol Energy Center
7/12 – Detroit, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
7/13 – Chicago, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/14 – Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Ampitheater
7/18 – Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
7/19 – Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
7/21 – Houston, TX, Toyota Center
7/22 – Dallas, TX, American Airlines Arena
7/24- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
7/25 – Salt Lake City, UT, Maverick Center
7/28 – Seattle, WA, KeyArena
7/30 – San Jose, CA, HP Pavilion
7/31- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
8/2 – Las Vegas, NV, Mandalay Bay Events Center
8/3 – Las Vegas, NV, Mandalay Bay Events Center
8/4 – Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/7 – Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
8/8 – Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
8/9 – Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
8/10 – Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center

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