Tomlinson started his career as an actor. In 2010, Tomlinson auditioned for the seventh series of the singing competition The X Factor. Here, he was put together with four other boys, to form the group One Direction, later signed by Simon Crowell, and propelled to international fame.
Tomlinson cites Robbie Williams as his biggest influence and idol.In an interview with Now magazine,
he said: "I've always loved Robbie. He's just so cheeky, he can get away with anything.
His performances are unbelievable." He also admires fellow British recording artist
, describing him as "phenomenal".
He has also declared about his music...
"My whole mission with this album is to not write these Hollywood-esque songs that talk about some unfathomable crazy love story. I'm so bored of that... Because I'm from up north, I grew up loving the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. And the way they tell stories is such an effortless thing. It's real, it's honest and it's to the point, you know? Now, any of the Arctic Monkeys would be devastated to hear me talking like this, but there is a way of incorporating that conversational honesty into pop."