One Direction are hoping to crack the US music industry next year.

The ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ boy band – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson – are set to tour America in 2012 after signing a deal with the Columbia Records, but none of them expect it to be an easy ride.

Harry said: “America is a massive place and it’s going to be hard. Nothing is gonna come easy. A lot of people have tried and failed but we want to break the mould and see what we can do. We’ll definitely give it a go.

“We did a couple of signings in Europe and it surprised us how many people were out there.

“It was crazy in Italy. Riot police had to protect us and nearly had to shut down the whole event. There were 3,500 people. Optimistically, we had been expecting 200.”

The band – who shot to fame after finishing third on the UK version of talent show ‘The X Factor’ – are taking on Rihanna’s new album, ‘Talk That Talk’, in the UK album charts this weekend (27.11.11) with their debut ‘Up All Night’, but Louis has not helped their cause by buying her album for himself.

He told The Sun newspaper: “She is so hot. We’d like to say we met her but she actually just passed us in the hall when we both appeared on ‘The X Factor’. We still tell people, ‘Yeah, we met Rihanna.’

“Being up against her is a bit scary. I don’t know what will happen, but it makes it more exciting.”

The group’s second single, ‘Gotta Be You’, was beaten to top spot by Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ last weekend (20.11.11), but the five piece don’t think finishing lower in the charts than the 23-year-old Barbadian beauty is a disaster.

Harry explained: “That Rihanna song is huge. Finishing behind her is nothing to be ashamed of but, of course, we want Number one this week. We’re pushing for it. We’re gonna go for it.”