Liam Payne has opened up about his mental health in a conversation with Jordan Stephens and surprised the podcast host with how ‘sensitive’ he really is behind the scenes.
Former Rizzle Kicks star Jordan is currently hosting season two of Killing It, a Spotify Original podcast, which sees him sitting down with musicians to talk about mental health issues.
An upcoming episode features a chat with ex One Direction star Liam, and it’s safe to say, it was an eye-opening discussion for Jordan.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk about his chat with the pop star, Jordan revealed: ‘I learned that Liam is I think a lot more sensitive [than he comes across].
‘I don’t think he’s trying to portray himself as having a lack of sensitivity but I think he has a lot more weight on his shoulders and an incredible expectation.
‘I think again like everybody, he wants to be a certain version of himself. It was really powerful to hear him speak candidly about how much strength it takes to maintain an expectation of yourself that you’re comfortable with.’
Jordan added: ‘To hear that from a member of the biggest boy band in the world is really important and powerful. I think we could have got more, the conversation could have doubled in length. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in his shoes at the moment.’
As well as talking through how he dealt with fame being in One Direction, one of the world’s biggest boy band, Liam opens up about the reaction to his debut solo album LP1 which earned some criticism.
‘He’s had bad reviews of his album since and I came out of that podcast going, “I just wish there was more of an accessible understanding of him rather than it being this statue that anyone can chip away at”,’ Jordan explained.
‘He’s a human being the same as everyone else and that’s what I felt.’
Jordan continued: ‘These feelings, these pressures almost always result in some kind of consequence and if he feels that he’s developed some kind of inner strength, then that’s really admirable and something that can help a lot of people.
‘But that’s for him to know.’
The podcast host can relate to Liam’s struggles following his rise to stardom as one half of Rizzle Kicks in 2011.
Alongside Harley Sylvester Alexander-Sule, the group earned four top 10 singles including the hit song Down With The Trumpets.
Jordan has since gone on to host the ITV2 game series Don’t Hate The Playaz with Maya Jama and is set to release a series of books in 2021.
The Killing It podcast will also feature an in-depth chat with former Sugababes singer Mutya Buena, who left the group in 2005 after much chart success.
Recalling her mental health discussion, Jordan said: ‘I was taken aback by the hand that Mutya has been dealt. She has had really, really been through it and there were points listening to that conversation with Petra where I felt heartbroken.
‘Not because of where she’s at, she is who she is, and she’s incredibly talented and incredibly open which is a blessing. But I think she got famous at 14 and she got really put through it. And it’s just another example of the way in which the public has developed this kind of bizarre barrier between fame and humanity.’
‘I would never ever, ever put someone through what she went through.’
Relating to his own experience with fame, Jordan explained: ‘The overwhelming [thread] between these conversations is, one of the things I was told when I first became famous, is that you should never complain about fame, just don’t complain about it.
‘Because people won’t get it. People who were working their asses off every day, in a little flat, or whatever else with a little family and they’re getting f*****g crushed by the government, they’re not gonna want to listen to someone with a record deal saying that it’s really difficult.’
He added: ‘They just don’t want to hear it and I think that whilst that has some truth in it, I think that has forced a lot of people to harbour genuine grief and genuine sadness, and I think there should be a space to hear that.’
Jordan Stephens hosts series two of Killing It. Available to listen to exclusively on Spotify now.
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