Niall Horan has given One Direction fans new hope of a reunion, insisting the boy band will release another album on mentor Simon Cowell's record label.
The group announced a hiatus at the end of 2015 and suggested the break would last 18 months, but with Niall and bandmate Harry Styles both releasing new solo music this week (beg01May17) fans fear a get together might be some time off.
Niall isn't even on Cowell’s label anymore, choosing Capitol Records as the home for his solo career, but he insists when the group does get back together it will record for the TV and music mogul's Syco Records once again.
In a new interview with The Sun, the Irish singer admits he hopes Cowell isn't too upset about his "fresh start" with Capitol.
"We were very close to Simon for years and had a lot of success together," he says. "I just felt like I wanted and needed a fresh start. It’s a long time to be at a label I wanted to broaden my horizons and try something new. We both know that and when One Direction come back we'll still have albums left to do."
Urging fans not to lose hope of a band reunion as the hiatus drags on, Niall adds, "It’s been a year and a bit already. We don’t want to put a time on it. But when that phone call does come, no matter whoever it comes from, we’re back again.
"You know I’m going to probably end up touring, Harry will probably end up doing the same, probably Liam probably Louis. That’s a year. Time adds up."
And he suggests One Direction could regroup as a trio is one of the bandmates isn't ready to leave a solo career behind, but adds, "That’s not a conversation we’ve had."
And he's also not dismissing a reunion with Zayn Malik, who quit the group before the hiatus, adding, "Again, (that's) a conversation we haven’t had and I’m sure the fans would love it and it would be great but, again, I don’t know."
The pop quartet last regrouped in December (16) on British TV show The X Factor just days after the death of Louis Tomlinson's mum. Niall and his pals came together to support Louis as he launched his solo debut, Just Hold On, on the show.
"That’s a tough song to sing, being out there on your own for the first time on a week where something like that happens must have been horrific for him," he tells The Sun, "but it was a no-brainer we were all in. I was in New York and I heard about it and there was no doubt that was the next thing I was doing.
"We all flew home and we didn't want it to be like the whole publicity thing. We didn’t want that we were in and out to see Louis and be there to support him."