Horan tried to play the guitar that his brother got for Christmas, but was not able to play it. Horan, then aged 11, taught himself how to play the guitar by following YouTube tutorials. His aunt discovered his talent one day when she was in the car with Niall as he started singing. She originally thought the radio was on. As a teenager, he performed at the Mullingar Arts Centre during a fund-raiser for the local football team, the Shamrocks. He was also bagging a support slot with former X Factor contestant Lloyd Daniels at the Academy club in Dublin.