It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Louis Tomlinson released his highly anticipated debut album Walls. From the crazy tracklist reveal where we all sat glued to the live stream literally watching paint dry for eight hours as artist Jay Kaes created a stunning mural, to the fan hot spots hidden in some mind-boggling locations. Walls is an album that broke down the barriers between Louis and his fans. It gave listeners the first real glimpse of the phenomenal talent that Louis Tomlinson has as a lyricist.
Full of honest, sometimes raw, but always emotive statements as a body of work Walls was Louis Tomlinson’s statement of intent. An introduction to he is as an artist away from being just a member of a boyband. Louis’s debut album may have took a long time to be released but it was worth it. It topped the charts all over the world. ( UK Official Chart at No.4, the US Billboard Chart at No.9, and the Australia ARIA chart at No.6). And nine months after it’s release his dedicated, loyal and extremely passionate fanbase who have an extremely unique and warm and giving relationship with the singer, got the album to the top of the charts once again.
There are 12 tracks on the album, each indvidual and with it’s own strong identity and theme but all of which come together to tell a unique, personal and extremely honest narrative.
From the album Louis released five singles. Kill My Mind, Two of Us, Don’t Let It Break Your Heart, We Made It and Walls.
Kill My Mind
The first taste of what to expect from the album came with Louis’s “statement of intent” Kill My Mind, a song that was born to be performed live. It was also the first part of what would become an epic and completely unforgettable video trilogy.
Two Of Us
Two Of Us is that track what will never not move you and make you feel emotion when you listen to it. It’s raw, it’s vulnerable. It’s uplifting and relatable for any listener because it encompasses everything you feel when you lose a loved one.
Louis filmed two videos for the track. One where he helped a man named Richard Green complete his bucket list and raised money for some very worthy charities.
The second was a simply just Louis singing the track and playing the piano. And was utterly beautiful. Both videos complimented the track perfectly.
We Made It
We Made It is somewhat of an anthem, a song that connects both Louis and his fans as, as a team they made it, they got to the point where Louis released his solo album. It’s a song that has multiple meanings and will mean something different for everyone that listens. It also formed the final part of Louis’s video trilogy.
Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
Don’t Let It Break Your Heart follows Louis trend for writing heartfelt tracks that while being full of truth also uplift the listener and urges them to find the positive in any situation life throws at you. It also formed the next part of his video trilogy.
Walls is the title track of the album and one which speaks a lot about Louis, his time in the industry and it summed up the entire theme of the album. The video was shot in the Moroccan desert and is not part of the short film as with KMM, WMI and DLIBYH. but focuses purely on Louis and his creative rebirth. The track is a beautiful biographical piece.
For four of his video releases, Louis teamed up with Charlie Lightening. They created a trilogy of videos with an interlinking story. All which cumulated in the release of We Made It: The Directors Cut, a 15-minute movie which fully told the narrative that had played out over the four videos and included previously unseen footage. It was nothing short of a masterpiece and was arguably one of the best videos but most underrated videos to be released in 2020 by any artist.
Written by Charlie Lightening and Conor Patrick Walsh, the three music videos ( KMM, DLIBYH and WMI) were switched around from their original release order to create a strong and powerful narrative.
“It was amazing to be approached by Louis to visualise a story over three promos. I think it’s quite rare to be able to work on something like this, and I was really eager to make this happen.
On meeting Louis we really got on so I knew it would be a great project to work on. Visually we wanted this to be as cinematic as possible and thought about the colour pallet. As ‘Kill My Mind’ was the first, the red look was really important to set the tone.
As we shot the 3 promos over 3 months it meant the story could grow and move organically, so we could see the fans reactions from each and tweak each narrative as we went from promo to promo. I’m really pleased with how they all came out, and it was so great working with Geoff Bell, a real gentleman and professional, he brought a lot to the table. As did Joe and Miki our leads, it was a great project to work on and see develop as we moved forward.”Charlie Lightening, Writer and Director of We Made It: The Directors Cut.
Common People Productions who had previously worked with Charlie, on projects with Liam Gallagher including his biographical film ‘As it Was, was commissioned by Mike O’Keefe, VP creative, Sony Music Entertainment. and Alice Frost, Marketing Director of the now-defunct Syco Music.
“We thought it would be different and cool to link the three videos together. It was something that hadn’t been done before and Charlie and the CMN PPL team delivered a great story”Alice Frost, former marketing director at Syco Music.
In order to make sense of everything, you have to watch videos back-to-back; ‘Kill My Mind’, ‘We Made It’ and ‘Don’t Let it Break Your Heart’, you realise that the first video is actually the end of the story. With the work of Charlie, Conor and the team it became a short movie rather than three interconnected music videos.
To further promote Walls, Louis had a huge world tour planned, which sadly has been rescheduled due to the covid 19 pandemic, making it unsafe and impossible to tour.
Always one to look out for not only his fans and help others, Louis in December 2020 decided to team up with online streaming platform Veeps for a record breaking live event, Louis Tomlinson: Live From London which gave his fans all over the world the chance to see him perform Walls live as he put on an entire gig.
Directed once again by Charlie Lightening. The profits from the Livestream and limited edition merchandise supported Louis own tour crew and three other charities, Crew Nation, Stagehand and Bluebell Wood. It became biggest live stream of the year by any male solo artist, selling over 160k tickets globally.