Zayn Malik has discussed his personal experiences of racism in a new interview.
The former One Direction star was born to a Pakistani father, and mother of Irish descent, and has now opened up about what it was like growing up as part of a mixed-race family in Bradford.
Speaking to ES Magazine, he explains that when he younger he “saw dad as dad and mum as mum”, adding: “I didn’t see colour, I didn’t see religion, I didn’t see race.”
“I was lucky that my mum and dad would always explain it to me: ‘This is just the way it is, this is some people’s belief, this is the way that they’ve been brought up. You’re brought up differently so you’ve got to respect everybody and hope that people respect you in return.’”
He goes on to explain that he was excluded and often “got in fights”, adding: “Nine times out of 10, the fights were due to racial things.”
“I never really dwelled on this in the past, but I do believe it is something that people should know — this is who I am, this is where I’ve come from. It’s not so much that it hurts — it’s what builds you as a person. What you learn from that. I have an understanding of certain issues,” he says. “Just because I don’t dwell on those issues, doesn’t mean I don’t know. I am aware of what things go on. I am aware that people grow up in racially segregated communities.”
Zayn is still promoting his debut album ‘Mind Of Mine’ which went to number one when it released in March this year.
The ‘Pillowtalk’ singer also speaks for the first time about having previously suffered from an eating disorder.
Read Zayn’s full interview in the latest edition of ES Magazine.