Danielle Jensen Calgary’s biggest One Direction fan

For people who don’t know explain who and what One Direction is.

In 2010 when (the band members) were 16 17 or 18 they all wanted to try out for the X Factor as solo artists. They all auditioned and they all made it through. They got to the final few guys and they all got cut. Then Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger decided they wanted to put them in a band so they called them back onstage and said they can go through on the X Factor if they want to be a band. They had never met each other before but they thought “We’re either going home or we can continue.” So they decided to do that then they all hung out for a while before they even sang together because they wanted to be friends first. Then they went through and they eventually got through and made it to the final three. That’s how it all started.

What is it about this band that makes you love them?

Because they’re stupid and I love it. Anything they do you can tell they have signals for each other during interviews. They do things and the interviewer has no idea. Like Louis will sit there and he’ll bark randomly and the interviewer will be like “what was that?” and they’ll all sit there and not say anything. They’re just so dumb and hilarious. And they’re legitimately friends. They’re best friends. I don’t really remember when I liked the Backstreet Boys. I didn’t actually know anything about them so I can’t really compare but they’re like…. I would want to be friends with them in real life.

How does that happen when they’re clearly manufactured by some record executive? How do they become friends?

That’s the thing. They always say that it’s so weird how it worked out. There could have been one guy that was not like the rest of them but they always say that if they had gone to the same school they would have been friends. They all just clicked I guess. It’s not forced at all. You can tell if someone was forcing a friendship and you can totally tell that they’re not.

Who’s your favourite one?

Harry and Zayn are my favourites.

Which one is the smoker?


Tell me about Zayn. Isn’t he a badass? He has tattoos and he smokes right?

Yeah. He wears a varsity jacket a lot. I don’t know how to explain it. I think Zayn’s just more quiet and brooding except when he’s with the rest of them he’s an idiot. He’s loud and they’re all dumb and I love it.

What do people need to know about your favourite guys in the band?

This is like so awkward. I feel awkward about this. Whenever people describe the band they say that Harry is the cheeky one. He’s like British cheeky. He always has this smirk on his face. It’s hard to explain when you watch so much… ever since they went on X Factor everything they’ve done has been filmed. They have constant video diaries or behind-the-scenes. Always. That’s how their fanbase got made because of YouTube. They did zero promotion anywhere else outside the U.K. and then they decided “Let’s try to go around Europe and promote ourselves.” And they went to Milan and there were 4000 people who showed up. They almost had to cancel it. It’s because of YouTube and Tumblr. I don’t know how you could be a fan without Tumblr because every single video is instantly on there and it’s a GIF.

What’s it like to be obsessed with a boy band while you’re growing up and going to college?

It’s weird. The only thing that makes me justify it is that Louis is older than me. It is kind of weird but it’s more on the Internet. I don’t show it in person. It’s not like it’s the only thing in my life but so much of the fandom is younger than me. Sometimes people on Tumblr ask how old I am and I tell them 20 and they’re like “What?!?” But the members of One Direction would be like people I go to school with.

Does it feel like you’re friends with them? Is that frustrating sometimes because you’re actually not?

Kind of yeah. It’s like why aren’t they my friends? You feel like they are your friends because they do so much for their fans with videos and stuff. Their main thing Simon Cowell told them “be the band you want to be.” If any of them gets a little bit diva-ish the other ones will shoot them down in a second.

When I see videos it seems similar to Justin Bieber like Beatles-mania from the ’60s. Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by them that you don’t know what to do with it? Is it an emotional reaction or is it cerebral?

They make me get very… I get very worked up about them I’m not going to lie. But I’m not the kind of person that would scream if they were in front of me. I would want to be normal and make them think I was normal. I don’t really like the younger side of being a fan of something like this. The fans are called Directioners but I don’t like to say that. I don’t like that because the Directioners trend the dumbest things on Twitter all the time and people react about everything. People need to get a grip.

Do you feel the need to defend yourself to your peers though?

I accept that people don’t understand but I’m used to everyone hating on the things I like. Like when I liked the Jonas Brothers they seriously got so much flak. Flak — haha sorry little joke about One Direction.

Sorry how is that a joke about One Direction?

Because the girl Harry was dating was 32 and her name was Caroline Flack and everyone always says “flacking” this “flacking” that.

Harry dated a 32-year-old?

It was a huge scandal because he was 17 at the time.

What do you get out of the music?

I started liking them before they even had any music. That’s one weird thing. I used to listen to them before their X Factor performances. Seriously on my iPod. They didn’t have an album yet or anything. I would sit up at 3 a.m. and wait for their new single to get released on BBC Radio 1. I would sit there hyperventilating while it was playing. I was having a moment. Their music their album’s pretty diverse with the kinds of pop music. A lot of it makes me feel happy when I listen to it but they have ballads too. Some with piano some with synth stuff. It’s just a good mixture. It’s the kind of stuff they wanted to make they took a while to work on it. You know when people come off those shows they’ll have an album within two months or something. They waited like a year and worked on it. They recorded it in Sweden.

So you seriously know where they are at all times right? Tell me right now at this moment everything you know about them.

Well they’re sleeping right now. I know that their girlfriends on Twitter were counting down the hours until they got to the airport. I know that Louis’ girlfriend picked him up from the airport I know that he was wearing his pajama pants when he got off the plane. I know Zayn was wearing Louis’ shirt from yesterday. I know that Niall went home and watched the Chelsea game on TV and there was a fire happening near his house. I know that Harry didn’t go straight home to Cheshire tonight because his stepdad said “don’t come to our house because he’s not coming home.” People literally go stand on their lawn. I’ve gone to Harry’s house on Google Maps before. I found the bakery that he worked at.

You were a fan before they had even made any music. Since then as you’ve said other people have become fans. Is that annoying for you to share them with others?

Yeah. Every fan with them goes through the same thing. They’ll hear a song and go “Oh I kinda like them.” For me I didn’t want to like them because I thought “this is so typical of me to like a band like this.” My family laughs at me now. I didn’t want to like them but I couldn’t help it. But every fan goes through this… you’ll kind of hear about them and then go “I’ll just watch a video.” Then you’ll watch another video. When you’re a hardcore fan you’ve watched every single video on YouTube. If there’s something I haven’t seen I’d be legitimately surprised. If you’re a new fan and you don’t know anything yet people call them Directionators they’re the fake fans. I’m not a part of this and I hate it. Some people get so worked up they’re like “Ugh Directionator” if you don’t know about something and they say you’re not a fan. But if you like their music you’re a fan. Everyone becomes a new fan at some point so it’s not their fault. But it is annoying when people think they’re the biggest fan when they’re actually not. They haven’t been through everything that you did. Like I watched so many things on live stream crappy live stream you don’t even know. When they were on the Alan Carr: Chatty Man show I watched it on live stream. Whenever they have a performance on any British show I’m watching it on live stream. I stay up late to watch random things.

What’s the weirdest time you’ve watched something?

In between class I’ll know that something’s happening and I’ll like be late for class. Liam did a TwitCam baking cupcakes — I watched it in human resources class in university. I sat in the back so no one could see what I was watching.

So do you call yourself a Directioner?

Not to toot my own horn here but I don’t call myself a Directioner and the people who are realistic fans don’t call themselves that. Some of the 16-year-old girls you can tell they’ve watched all the videos but they overkill all the jokes. There’s so many jokes that are overdone to the point where even the boys are tired of them. The band did these video diaries on X Factor and they’d just sit on a staircase and answer questions and be stupid. It was the very first time they got asked what they liked in a girl and Louis was like “I like a girl who eats carrots.” And it has never gone away. He’s like “I will regret that day for the rest of my life.” They get carrots thrown onstage. They get hurt by carrots. They seriously get hurt by them.

What I’m getting at though is that everybody goes through this when they discover a band like “This was my secret and now it’s not.”

Yes! Seriously One Direction was my secret. My friends know… there was nothing here about them at all. To even have them here now I don’t feel like it’s real because it doesn’t feel natural to see things about them. It’s like no that’s not normal. At my work we sell those teen magazines and they’re on the cover now. It’s like we’re selling One Direction stuff? That doesn’t even make sense to me — I had to order my stuff online.

Tell me about how Tumblr fits into all of this. You were saying they wouldn’t be this famous without Tumblr?

Yeah. I don’t think they even understand. They know what it is because so many people have told them. I’m sure half of their fan base is from Tumblr. There are so many fans on Tumblr. I look at every other fandom on Tumblr and the amount of notes is crazy. I probably have over 300000 notes on just my One Direction fan art all combined.

Tell me about your One Direction fan art.

Ever since I was little I’d write words with a marker and outline it. It’s like lyrical art. I was studying once and I was so bored so I made one of all the X Factor songs they’ve performed. I did that and then I thought I’d take a picture and post it on Tumblr. I had 70 followers at that point. I posted it and went out and when I came back it had over 5000 notes on it. I was like “What just happened?” It’s the dumbest thing it’s me outlining marker. I just kept posting more of them and my followers exploded. People are fans of me now. Someone will Tweet at me and I’ll reply to them and they’ll favourite it and retweet it. They’ll be like “she tweeted at me! I’m so happy right now!”

Rewind a little bit. You made art out of the names of the songs and then you decided to do some of their lyrics?

When their CD came out I did one of all of the track names on the album. I have a link on my Tumblr in the order that I did them. People started requesting them. I did one for my friend… I met one of my best friends because of One Direction. She lives in California and I’m going to see her in June and we’re going to two of the concerts. I’m so pumped.

You met her through your Tumblr?

Yeah she makes One Direction art too. I made this one for her. We would do little doodles for each other. I drew one for her that was her name plus her favourite member and I put little cartoons. I put little symbols she likes photography and she’s a nurse so I drew a little camera and a stethoscope and stuff. For the other guy I did the little symbols for that person. It was Niall and he’s Irish so I put a clover and he loves food more than anyone I’ve seen in my life so I drew some food. I posted that and then I started getting so many requests to do fan art.

Since then what’s the most notes one of your drawings got?

I haven’t checked recently but I think the highest one has over 60000 notes. People tattle on other people because my followers will take one of the images and post it on Instagram and say it’s theirs. People will crop my name off of the art and put it on other websites. Some random girl from France made a Facebook album with all of my art and she said it was hers. This other girl took a screenshot of it and showed it to me. This other girl submitted my art for a radio contest in New Zealand. It has all these comments on the website like “That awkward moment when this isn’t even your art.” My followers are like a family it’s weird. That’s half the point of being a fan of One Direction is meeting people. I’ve made so many fans because of it. It’s pretty awesome.

You’re Internet famous with a certain group of people.

The really famous One Direction fan blogs have about 40000 followers and I have about 7000. But that’s still crazy — 7000 people know who I am. One time I reblogged someone’s post and this girl messaged me and wrote “I just called my friend and we freaked out because you’re our favourite blogger and you reblogged us.” A lot of people on Tumblr the Tumblr famous ones are really snarky to their followers. But so many people say to me “You’re the nicest One Direction blog.” It makes me feel good they’re all so nice to me.