Zayn Malik, who this week suddenly left the mega-popular band, One Direction, finally spoke publicly on Thursday. The singer gave an interview to British newspaper The Sun in which he explained why he made his abrupt departure from the world’s most popular boy band. Although the news is still fresh, some details on how Malik and One Direction will move forward are now public.
Although his departure from One Direction led to speculation that he quit because he was unable to stop partying and focus on the band, Malik says those rumors are not true. Addressing the real reason for his exit, the 22-year-old says that he quit the band for one of the most popular reasons why anyone ever quits a group – to take a shot at a solo career.
In fact, according to Malik, he is already in the planning stages of a solo record, which will be a Naughty Boy production. Naughty Boy’s song, La La La, hit the top 10 in 2013. The producer has also worked previously with Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna and Emeli Sande. Malik’s choice in producer fits with his musical taste, which has always leaned a bit less “poppy” than his bandmates.
Although the ex-One Direction member admits that the reaction to his leaving the band is “crazy and wild and a bit mad,” he says that he has never felt more in control of his own life. In addition, he believes his decision to leave the band is the right one for both himself and the band, “so I feel good.”
One Direction’s remaining four members will perform three more shows before taking a break of two months, which will likely be spent deciding on how they plan to move forward without Malik. The band’s world tour will recommence on June 5 in Cardiff.
According to The Daily Star, a source with close ties to the band says that although Malik left One Direction suddenly, they will move forward with their current plans to begin recording a new album, their fifth, next month. He adds that because all of the members are now 21 years of age or older, they would like to present a more mature sound than they have in the past. They all agree, says the source, that if their fifth album should be their last, it should have the defining sound of One Direction. To that end, although the source says that Ed Sheeran will once again “contribute material” for the fifth album, the band will also be bringing in All Time Low, The Cribs, Fall Out Boy and the Madden Brothers.
As far as his ex-bandmates, Niall Moran, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, Malik says there are no ill feelings on his part or on theirs. The singer maintains that the remaining members of the band are “really supportive,” and that “they understand that…[the group is] not real to me anymore,” explaining that he had continued on with One Direction, although he had not been happy for a while, in an effort to please others.
Even though Malik is confident with his decision to leave One Direction to go solo, he does have one regret, and that is “let[ting] the fans down.” He makes it clear that he has not “turned [his] back on them,” but he was forced to leave the band because the person on stage was “not the real me.” Be that as it may be, there is no doubt that his sudden departure has broken quite a few young hearts, as evidenced by reports that ticket holders to One Direction’s Cape Town shows Saturday and Sunday have torn up their passes to protest Malik’s departure from the band. Both One Direction and Malik no doubt hope the fans will move forward with the new, smaller band and solo singer as quickly as they seem to have.
By Jennifer Pfalz
Image by Eva Rinaldi – Flickr License