Simon Cowell, the man credited for creating the pop boy band One Direction, admitted that he was a bit surprised after learning about Liam Payne's solo record deal with Capitol Records. According to The X Factor host, he didn't expect it due to the loyalty of the group's members.

Last week, Payne announced that he had agreed to sign a solo deal with Capitol Records. Although this spurred rumors of him leaving One Direction, he assured his fans that the group will always be his home.

Payne joining a different record label is a big deal for Cowell especially since he is the founder of Syco Entertainment, the company that One Direction is currently signed with. According to ET Online, he was surprised by Payne's decision to go with Capitol Records.

"I was slightly surprised to read that Liam signed to another label," he told ET. "I wasn't expecting it. But you know, that happens."

As noted by Cowell, he didn't expect Payne to go for the solo record deal since, like his bandmates Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, he is loyal especially when it comes to his career.

"The great thing about these boys -- well, not all of them, but most of them -- they are incredibly loyal and you don't always expect that," he added. "Niall, Harry, Louis. [It's] amazing."

As for Payne's upcoming solo album, it is not yet clear when it will come out or what it will be called. But recently, it was revealed that the 22-year-old artist registered a new song with BMI, an international music rights organization, Mirror reported.

A screenshot of the registration, which was posted on Twitter, revealed that the song's title is "Meet Me Half Way" and was written by Payne and Sara Harmouch. Perhaps this will be the first single from Payne's upcoming album.