Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne

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Liam Payne was "shocked" to learn that Louis Tomlinson is going to be a father.

Speaking to Magic Radio's Jo Parkerson Monday, the One Direction singer recalled his reaction, saying, "Well, obviously I was a bit shocked, but he's taken super well to it." He also called L.A.-based stylist Briana Jungwirth a "lovely girl."

How does Tomlinson feel about becoming a dad? "He's very excited with what's going on with him at the moment and I feel that stuff like that happens sometimes," Payne said of the 23-year-old singer. "He's taking it very seriously."

In the interview, Payne also discussed Zayn Malik's sudden departure.

"I haven't spoken to him recently and he's off doing his own thing and taking his time," Payne said of Malik, who recently signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records. "It is a difficult thing to leave the band, but his heart wasn't in it," he said. "You have to go with your heart and say, 'I can't do this anymore' and 'There is something out there that I do want to do that is different,' and that's fine."

Malik gave the quartet props for its latest single, "Drag Me Down," via Twitter over the weekend, and Payne is excited to see what his ex-bandmate will do next. "I'm dead excited to hear some of his stuff. I did a lot of work with him in the studio when he was in the band. We used to stay up late and do rap stuff which is quite interesting, 'cause I like to produce rap beats and stuff," he said. "He's got a great voice and he's a very talented young man and we wish him all the best of luck."

Might Payne, 21, ever go his own way?

"I'm more interested in the writing side of things, if I'm honest," he said. "I like writing songs for different artists and crafting a song is a really beautiful thing to do. I sit down and do it with my girlfriend [Sophia Smith] sometimes and with a couple of lads that I know. I much prefer doing that sort of thing. I love being in the band. I don't know if I could do it by myself now; it's all too comfortable."

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