The One Direction star, who has found success as a solo artist with singles including This Town and Slow Hands since the band’s split at the end of 2015, said he has lots of friends in the industry who “don’t get the plaudits they deserve”.
He spoke to Sky News at the BMI London Awards, where he was honoured with two medals for his singles Too Much To Ask, written with singer and producer Jamie Scott, and On The Loose, written with singer John Ryan and producer Julian Bunetta.
“I like to think of myself as a songwriter, I spend a lot of time writing songs,” Horan said. “I’ve written a hundred odd this year, so when the good ones come out and you get honoured for it, it’s such a good thing. It’s amazing.
“I don’t get to come to a lot of these things and I don’t tend to go to a lot of music industry things but I feel so passionately about songwriting.
“I’m one of the lucky songwriters, I get to go out on stage and do it all the time. They’re in the studio all the time and don’t get… a lot of my mates don’t get the plaudits that they deserve, and these are their nights more than mine because I get to see it every day.”
Horan said it was “pretty cool” to be honoured at the ceremony alongside Noel Gallagher, who picked up the President’s Award for his prolific songwriting career with Oasis and now the High Flying Birds.
“That’s the great thing about it,” said Horan. “And then, just the pizazz of it – it’s one of the few nights that you get to stick a suit on and stick a medal around your neck.”
Other winners at the BMI ceremony included singer-songwriter Raye, who was the first recipient of the new Impact Award “in recognition of her groundbreaking artistry, creative vision and impact on the future of music”, and the late Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, who was honoured for his 2013 hit, Wake Me Up.
The medal was collected by the DJ and electronic musician’s father Klas, who said: “When Tim started I didn’t understand anything about house music. I began to like his music more and more… I love the songs, and Tim loved the songs, so I think that this is a great moment for me to accept this.”
The BMI awards celebrated the most-performed songs of 2019 by UK and European songwriters, producers and publishers.
Other winners included Graham Lyle, who was honoured for seven million performances of What’s Love Got To Do With It, as sung by Tina Turner, and Michael d’Abo, who was honoured for six million performances of Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.