Just Hold On

Album: Neon Future III (2016)
Charted: 2 52
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Songfacts®:

  • The debut solo single by Louis Tomlinson, this is a collaboration with American DJ Steve Aoki. The tropical EDM production marked a new sound for the singer, differing from the pop ballads released by One Direction.
  • Louis wrote the lyrics about his mother Johannah Deakin's courageous battle with leukaemia.

    It's not over 'til it's all been said
    It's not over 'til your dying breath.
  • Johannah Deakin passed away at the age of 43 on December 7, 2016. Three days later, Louis made his solo debut live onstage at The X Factor UK live finals, alongside Steve Aoki, when he performed the song.

    Following the performance, X Factor judge and Syco label boss Simon Cowell praised Tomlinson's courage in performing while mourning his mother: "The bravery of what you've done. I respect you as an artist, as a person and your mum was so proud of you and she was so excited for the performance," he said. "She's looking down on you tonight."
  • Tomlinson and Aoki wrote the song with:

    American producer Eric Rosse, who is best known for his production work on Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink albums plus Mary Lambert's hit single "Secrets."

    Newcomer Sasha Sloan, whose other credits include Kaskade's "Phoenix".

    Los Angeles songwriter and producer, Sir Nolan, whose other credits include Justin Bieber's "All Around The World," Pitbull's "Feel This Moment" and Nick Jonas' "Jealous."
  • Tomlinson was inspired to launch his solo career with an Aoki collaboration after watching the DJ perform in Vegas. Their collaboration seems to have been fated as Aoki wasn't even slated to spin that night.

    "We went to go watch a Calvin Harris show. Calvin pulled out and then Steve did the set and, yeah, we were absolutely blown away. We had an amazing night," Tomlinson told Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio. "And then after that night, I messaged Steve on Twitter and said, 'Great show. Do you want to work together?' And here we are'. It's quite romantic!"
  • The song came together pretty quickly. "It kind of happened by accident, if I'm being honest," Tomlinson revealed. "I didn't really know that I wanted to do anything on my own. We just started trying things, and actually, this is one of the first songs that we wrote and recorded, so we got lucky, really."
  • Steve Aoki admitted he had no idea how big One Direction were before he started working with Louis. "When we started working in studio, I loved their music but I didn't know that much about the band, I didn't know about their fandom, about the whole culture that surrounds them and how massive that was, and he never brought it up," he told the BBC. "When we debuted the song on The X Factor and when the song came out, that's when I realised this was massive, this wasn't just a small section of fans, this was an institution, like an army of fans."
  • Steve Aoki told NME in 2017 that Louis Tomlinson is his favorite collaborator to date. He explained: "That's because I didn't know what to expect."

    The American EDM king added that this song going Top 5 in the UK was "crazy for me", as he'd never had a Top 20 UK single before.
  • The song was included on Steve Aoki's 2018 album Neon Future III.

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