New York - One Direction's Niall Horan released a first solo single on Thursday, becoming the latest member of the boy band to pursue music since the group went on hiatus.
The 23-year-old Irish singer announced that he had signed a contract with Capitol Records and released a first song, This Town.
Driven by acoustic guitar, This Town is a light ballad about heartbreak in which Horan wishes for another chance with a partner.
Horan, who did not give a timetable for further releases, also put out a video for This Town in which he performs at Capitol's studio in Hollywood.
Watch the video here:
One Direction achieved global fame, with screaming pubescent girls packing their concerts, after the then teenagers appeared in 2010 on the British television contest The X Factor.
The band announced a hiatus at the end of last year, with the proliferation of solo projects raising fears among fans of a permanent rupture.
Zayn Malik, who left the band in March last year, has had the most prominent solo career.
He released an album, Mind of Mine, full of racy R&B that would have been unthinkable for squeaky-clean One Direction.
Liam Payne in July revealed that he is also working on a solo album and, like Horan, signed to Capitol Records -- not One Direction's Columbia Records.
Among the other two members, Harry Styles has reportedly reached a record deal with Columbia.
Louis Tomlinson, who recently became a father, has been quiet on the solo front but is working with The X Factor judge Simon Cowell on putting together an all-girl pop band.