Savan Kotecha on One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' Chorus and Boy Band CounterProgramming
publish date: 2017-04-28
The chorus that jump-started One Direction's worldwide takeover -- and, along with The Wanted's "Glad You Came," helped bring about the boy band renaissance of the early '10s -- was originally penned by 1D songwriter Savan Kotecha on the toilet in a London hotel, after hearing his wife remark from the other room that she was feeling ugly.
"In my mind, I was just saying 'No, no, you're so beautiful, you don't even know how beautiful you are,'" he recalls about the inspiration for 's No. 28 best chorus of the 21st century. "And it was like, 'That's just really great that she doesn't know how beautiful she is. That's probably what makes her so beautiful.' And then I was like, "Oh, that's a good line!'"
Kotecha's instincts were proven right when the song was chosen as the first international single from One Direction's Up All Night single in 2011 -- peaking at No. 4 on the Hot 100 the next year, despite the fact that its power-pop production had very little in common with most of the EDM-based jams ruling the U.S. airwaves.