13 Amazing Bands Similar To One Direction

Written by Dan Farrant

Led by the charismatic frontman Harry Styles, One Direction took the world by storm in their prime. From their rise to fame on the hit show The X Factor to their record-breaking albums and electrifying live performances, they left an indelible mark on the music industry.

However, their announcement of a hiatus left many fans heartbroken, yearning for more of their addictive pop anthems. If you find yourself among the longing masses, fear not! We’ve got you covered with this article.

Whether you’re a die-hard Directioner or simply on the lookout for infectious tunes and charismatic boy bands, this list is for you. Get ready to explore 13 amazing bands like One Direction. Let’s get started!

One Direction by marcen27 (CC BY 2.0)

1. 5 Seconds Of Summer

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, 5 Seconds of Summer (5SoS) quickly gained popularity due to their pop-rock sound and boy band charm. Composed of college friends Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin, the talented quartet has captured the hearts of fans around the globe.

Formed in 2011, 5SoS initially gained popularity through their YouTube covers of popular songs, which garnered a loyal online following. Their breakthrough came when they caught the attention of—guess who?—One Direction, who invited them to join their Take Me Home tour in 2013.

The band’s self-titled debut album, released in 2014, propelled them to even greater heights. It featured the hit singles “She Looks So Perfect” and “Amnesia,” showcasing their talent for blending pop and rock influences that’s worth checking out.

2. The Wanted

Another group that warrants inclusion in the list of bands similar to One Direction is the British-Irish band The Wanted. They emerged onto the music scene around the same time as One Direction and gained significant attention and adoration.

With their infectious hits such as “Glad You Came” and “Chasing the Sun,” The Wanted quickly captured the hearts of fans both in the UK and the US. Their music showcased a distinctive blend of upbeat dance-pop tunes.

The Wanted often found themselves compared to their counterparts, One Direction, due to their similar fan demographics and genre of music. Both bands catered to a youthful audience, delivering anthems that fans seeking energetic and feel-good tracks love.

3. Little Mix

The girl group Little Mix, hailing from Britain, quickly gained popularity after winning The X Factor UK in 2011. Composed of Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson (who left the group in 2020), their musical style combines pop music with elements of R&B and dance.

Throughout their career, Little Mix has consistently impressed fans with top-notch performances during live tours while simultaneously maintaining an active social media presence.

The influence of Little Mix is visible beyond just the British music industry—artists such as Jason Derulo have experienced what some might call the “One Direction effect” by collaborating with them on hit songs like “Secret Love Song.” This collaboration highlights how significant groups like One Direction and Little Mix really are when it comes to shaping trends in modern pop culture.

4. Jonas Brothers

Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas make up the boy band Jonas Brothers. Rising to fame in the mid-2000s, the group is known for their catchy pop songs and impressive vocal harmonies, and to this day, they continue to be popular.

Their journey to stardom began with appearances on the Disney Channel, where they starred in their own television series, Jonas, and subsequent movies like Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. These ventures catapulted their music career, attracting a dedicated fanbase of loyal fans known as Jonatics.

Similar to One Direction, the Jonas Brothers have a diverse discography that spans a range of musical styles. From upbeat pop-rock anthems to heartfelt ballads and everything in between, their versatility allows fans to explore different sounds and find something that resonates with their musical preferences.

5. Big Time Rush

American boy band Big Time Rush gained immense fame in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The band’s journey began with their eponymous TV show, which aired on Nickelodeon and instantly captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

Their debut album, BTR, showcased their signature sound with songs like “Boyfriend” and “Til I Forget About You.” They continued to deliver unforgettable with albums like Elevate and 24/Seven, further solidifying their place in the hearts of fans.

Fans of One Direction will likely find enjoyment in Big Time Rush’s music due to their similar genre and feel-good vibes. Their discography features a range of pop tracks that will surely get you grooving and singing along.

6. Why Don’t We

California boy band Why Don’t We has been compared to One Direction due to their popularity and songwriting skills. Formed in 2016, the group consisted of five members: Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery, and Zach Herron.

The band only released two studio albums in their career. The band’s second album, titled The Good Times and The Bad Ones, was released in January 2021. It showcased the group’s growth as artists with more mature lyrics and sound.

In addition to writing their songs, they also take pride in producing most of their music videos themselves.

Despite being on hiatus since 2021, Why Don’t We continues to inspire many young people worldwide with their pop-rock beats and meaningful lyrics about love, heartbreak, and self-reflection.

7. New Hope Club

British band New Hope Club has been making waves in the music industry since their formation in 2015. Composed of three members, Blake Richardson, George Smith, and Reece Bibby, this singing trio quickly gained popularity thanks to their YouTube page filled with cover songs.

What sets New Hope Club apart from other emerging artists is how they leverage social media to engage with fans and build a loyal following. They’re active on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, constantly sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses into their lives as musicians.

Fans of One Direction will likely enjoy New Hope Club’s work due to their similar musical style and approachable demeanor. Both bands can whip up catchy pop tunes that stick in your head and make you want to sing along.

8. Union J

Our next group is another British band. Union J formed in 2012, and shortly after, they auditioned for the ninth series of The X Factor UK, coming in fourth.

Since then, Union J has released three studio albums and various charting singles such as “Carry You,” “Tonight (We Live Forever),” and “You Got It All.” Like One Direction, their music is mainly pop but with elements of dance anthems and rock ballads, which perfectly showcase their musical versatility.

The band has toured extensively across the globe, performing live at concerts and events where they regularly interacted with fans by taking selfies, signing autographs, or even performing impromptu songs.

9. The Vamps

Yet another British group lands on this list with pop-rock similarities to One Direction. The Vamps formed in 2012 and consisted of members James McVey, Connor Ball, Brad Simpson, and Tristan Evans.

Inspired by bands like Foo Fighters and The Lumineers for their music, The Vamps have gained a significant fanbase through their catchy singles, such as “Can We Dance” and “Somebody To You.” They have also gained popularity through touring internationally with acts such as Little Mix and Selena Gomez.

The Vamps’ social media presence has contributed greatly to their success. With over three million YouTube subscribers and a large following on TikTok and Instagram, they can stay connected with fans all around the world.

10. JLS

Jack the Lad Swing—or JLS, as they’re known best—is a British boy band that gained tremendous popularity in the late 2000s. Comprised of four talented members, they captured the hearts of fans, winning runner-up in the show The X Factor in 2008.

Following the show, the group released five studio albums and 15 singles, many of which topped the UK Singles chart, like “The Club Is Alive” and “Beat Again.” The latter song won the group several awards, including the British Single BRIT Award in 2010.

Similar to One Direction, JLS quickly became a sensation among music lovers. Both bands captured the essence of contemporary pop music, delivering songs that resonated with their young audience, particularly teenagers.

11. In Real Life

Like One Direction, the boy band In Real Life was formed through a TV show. For In Real Life, it was the series Boy Band in 2017. The group consisted of five members: Brady Tutton, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, Sergio Calderon, and Conor Smith.

After Boy Band, In Real Life, released their debut single, “Eyes Closed,” which received positive feedback from fans and music critics alike. They have since released a number of other singles, including “Tattoo (How ‘Bout You)” and “Tonight Belongs to You,” which further showcased their musical growth and versatility.

Even though In Real Life made the difficult decision to separate in 2020, their pop and R&B music continues to be a source of enjoyment for fans. Go ahead and explore their work; their discography stands as a testament to their talent and the impact they made during their active years.

12. PrettyMuch

Formed by Simon Cowell in 2016, the mastermind behind iconic groups like One Direction, PrettyMuch brings together a diverse range of talents and personalities to create music that can be described as a fusion of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, with influences from various genres.

Over the years, they’ve released only one studio album but made it up for several singles, including charting songs like “Would You Mind,” “Summer on You,” and “No More,” that showcase their immense talent.

In many ways, PrettyMuch follows in the footsteps of beloved boy bands like One Direction. They share a talent for creating unforgettable pop tunes that capture the hearts of fans.

If you enjoy pop and R&B music with a contemporary flair, PrettyMuch’s discography offers a treasure trove of enjoyable tracks, so go ahead and let their music sweep you away!

13. CNCO

Our last band, CNCO, is similar to One Direction in that they also achieved great success after coming in first in a television talent show. For them, it was the first season of La Banda.

With music that incorporates elements of Latin pop, urban beats, and tropical rhythms, CNCO went on to a string of chart-topping hits, including “Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos),” “Hey DJ,” and “Tan Fácil.”

CNCO has garnered a passionate following around the world, with a dedicated fan base that supports them at every turn. They have embraced social media as a means to connect with fans, sharing updates, behind-the-scenes content, and personal moments that make them easy to follow.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like One Direction

We hope this article has served as a delightful exploration of bands that capture the essence of One Direction’s infectious sound and undeniable charisma.

Each of these bands offers a diverse range of musical experiences you’re sure to enjoy, so go ahead and add some (or all!) of them to your pop-rock playlist.

If we missed any bands that should have been included in this list, let us know so we can add them for you!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.