Liam Payne’s debut single

The former 1D star released his first solo effort this morning.

The new dad, who releases his debut single Strip That Down today with Capitol, said it never occurred to him to sign with Syco, the label that launched 1D.

Liam, 23, explained: “There was never even a deal that crossed the table from [Simon], so it wasn’t even like it was ever open for business in my head.

“But then all of a sudden he was very upset and scorned by what had happened but I just had to separate myself properly.

“I really wanted to get away from everything that I did.”

He continued: “If you want to be fresh, you’ve got to start fresh.

“It was never any offence to Simon and I’m so grateful for the career that he’s gifted me really from the show.”

Simon, who created One Direction on X Factor in 2010 and mentored them throughout the talent show, previously said he was disappointed to learn Liam had signed with a rival label.

He told The Sun last July: “It is a bit annoying ifa I am honest with you – mainly because it is a another label who has now got your artist who you worked with for so many years.

“But that is the music business, unfortunately.”

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