Niall Horan runs ideas past musical mentors Elton John and Don Henley

Niall Horan

Niall Horan relies on musical mentors Elton John and Don Henley to give him guidance on new music.

The One Direction star released his sophomore solo album, Heartbreak Weather, on Friday, and speaking to BBC News, he revealed the collection has the approval of some of his own musical heroes.

"Elton John's really supportive of my songwriting," he said. "And Don Henley, I send him bits and pieces (of music) and he'll absolutely, no problem, tell me if there's something wrong with them.

"But that's what you need... I mean, there's a reason I'm asking for help - because I'm expecting a bad answer. And if Don Henley has an idea to make the song better I'm like, 'Well, you wrote Hotel California so I believe you.'"

The Flicker star's new album is notably more upbeat than his debut effort, and the singer added he was influenced by another icon, Elvis Presley, on tunes like Small Talk and Nice To Meet Ya.

"Those songs came from a jam and that, in turn, invites sexier lyrics, for you to be a bit more vulgar," he explained. "So I was getting into character and having fun and it ended up sounding like Elvis... But I'm not sure I'll be breaking out the rhinestone catsuit just yet."

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