Irish One Directioner Niall Horan dropped a surprise solo single on his fans, and the song, “This Town,” instantly shot to number one on Billboard magazine’s real-time trending chart. Ditto Twitter.

The folksy sounding “This Town” is the first solo single from a member of One Direction since they announced a hiatus last year.  Niall had been enjoying some down time, he told SiriusXM radio last week, but it wasn’t long before he was writing songs and itching to get back into the studio.

“I backpacked across South East Asia for eight weeks in January, February,” he said.  “So it was March when I started writing, when I came back to London.

“This was meant to be our year off and I wasn’t really expecting to do this and then I just started writing songs just naturally.”

No doubt Niall’s fans will push “This Town” to the top of the charts. A full album of new music will follow, but there’s no timeframe for that as of yet.

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As for the status of One Direction, that’s also up in the air, but Niall says the four remaining members will likely be reunited.  “I definitely won’t rule it out,” he said.

“I think for the foreseeable, we’re all kind of doing our own thing. Everyone’s enjoying doing their own thing. Harry did the movie and I’m doing this and Louis’ got his things going on and so does Liam.”

One thing not on the charts right now for Niall? Romance.

“I’ve been busy sitting in the studio, so I haven’t had time for that,” he said.

The writing on the photo that dropped with “This Town” is Niall’s own scribbles which eventually resulted in the song.  Capitol Records in Hollywood inked his solo deal … a snub, some say, of Simon Cowell and his label.  Simon discovered One Direction on his X Factor show in the U.K.

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Irish star Niall Horan.Universal