On Monday, British producer and songwriter Naughty Boy may have revealed the title of One Direction's new single: "One Chance to Dance." According to Press Party, Naughty Boy (real name: Shahid Khan) co-wrote the song with 1D band member Zayn Malik (*swoon*) and singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé (Rihanna, Katy Perry). Press Party also reports that in an interview with The Sun, Naughty Boy called the track "a real progression" for the band and said that there's "a big chance" that it will be the lead single from their upcoming fourth studio album. Get excited, 1D fans!
Though he's primarily known for his work in the United Kingdom, Naughty Boy's single "La La La," which features crooner Sam Smith, was a moderate hit in the United States earlier in 2014. Still, you might not be very familiar with the producer's music just yet — which makes predicting the sound of One Direction's potential new single very hard, indeed! And we just can't have that.
So, let's listen to a few tracks from Naughty Boy's discography in order to get a better idea of what One Direction's new song, "One Chance to Dance," might sound like. Could the track mark the debut of Zayn Malik: Rap Superstar? Let's hope/pray.
Tinie Tempah — "Let Go" (feat. Emeli Sandé)
If Zayny's going to be doing some rapping on 1D's new single (which would be the perfect time to debut his new skills, if you ask me!), it could sound a little something like "Let Go"! I just love the guitar riff in the background of the song.
Naughty Boy — "Top Floor (Cabana)" (feat. Ed Sheeran)
No, I don't think that the lead single from One Direction's upcoming album is going to be a somber affair like "Top Floor (Cabana)," but Ed Sheeran has written songs for the band before. Also, I wanted to highlight Naughty Boy's range as a producer — this song really couldn't be more different from "Let Go" (above).
Naughty Boy — "Lifted" (feat. Emeli Sandé)
"Lifted" dabbles a bit in drum & bass, a musical style that hasn't quite made its way to the United States just yet, but is very popular in the United Kingdom. Could "One Chance to Dance" introduce drum & bass to U.S. listeners?
Rihanna — "Half of Me"
According to iTunes composer credits, Naughty Boy co-wrote "Half of Me" with Sandé and Norwegian production duo Stargate. The song appears on Rihanna's last studio album, Unapologetic. Again, history tells us that 1D's upcoming lead single will be a little more up-tempo than "Half of Me," but it should give you a better idea of both Naughty Boy and Sandé's writing styles.
Naughty Boy — "Think About It" (feat. Wiz Khalifa & Ella Eyre)
"Think About It" has a little bit of a retro flair to it — that's an angle One Direction hasn't explored yet! Of course, you need to imagine Malik taking Wiz Khalifa's place in the song, spitting a couple of his own expertly written verses. Obviously.
Leona Lewis — "Trouble" (feat. Childish Gambino)
"Trouble" is a gloomy hip-hop ballad with a little drum & bass-style percussion thrown in there for good measure. It's definitely one of the stand-outs from Leona Lewis' last studio album, Glassheart.
Naughty Boy — "No One's Here to Sleep" (feat. Dan Smith of Bastille)
Dan Smith, who is the lead singer of Bastille, gives an emotional vocal performance on "No One's Here to Sleep," which matches the song's brooding, atmospheric instrumental quite well.
There you have it! A small sampling of Naughty Boy's work in order to give you a better idea of what to expect from One Direction's new song, "One Chance to Dance." I'm realizing now that a lot of Naughty Boy's music is rather...dark. Could this truly be One Direction's "edgy" era, as Niall Horan suggested on The Today Show last week??
Meanwhile, X Factor UK judge Simon Cowell recently took to Twitter to say that the band's new album is "one of their best," so basically, my excitement has incapacitated me.
Only Zayn's sweet, sweet rapping can bring me back to life.