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Heartbroken but not broken (Picture: YouTube)

Niall Horan has opened up about how his split with Hailee Steinfeld helped to inspire his new album.

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter is preparing to release his second solo record, after his first album Flicker in 2017.

Going through heartbreak helped write the ballads, even some of the happy songs – the sad songs that are dressed up as happy songs sometimes, he told Billboard.

I have stuff that I want to write about on my mind all the time. I had just gone through a break up, which helps when it comes to writing songs, I guess. It helps vent the emotions.

Aww darling.

Niall split from 22-year-old Pitch Perfect actor Hailee after about a year together.

aww
Hailee Steinfeld and Niall Horan during the 2017 American Music Awards (Picture: Getty Images)

Despite its morose moments, the former One Direction singer still said the album is a fun one.

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I am just ready to go! The album is fun. There are some very sad moments, but for the most part it is a fun album. There are some nice melodies in there, some cool guitar riffs. I think my fans are going to enjoy it.

More: Music

The Slow Hands hitmaker also revealed that his sultry new single Nice To Meet Ya was inspired by a brief flirtation he had with a woman during a night out.

He said: It felt like every time I turned around – like the lyric says – she just kind of disappeared. But then over the course of the same night, in different bars around that same area, we would bump into each other.

Its a song that is basically like a movie that is based on a true story, and then you start changing stuff that makes the song start to sound a little bit more interesting.

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