Zayn Malik Reflects On Highs And Lows Of One Direction In First Interview In Six Years

The Love Like This singer shared his memories of the band during an interview on the Call Her Daddy podcast.
Zayn Malik in 2018
Zayn Malik in 2018
Gotham via Getty Images

Zayn Malik has opened up about the reasons behind his decision to leave One Direction in his first interview in six years.

Speaking on the Call Her Daddy podcast, Zayn explained that he chose to quit the band in 2015 because of “politics going on” at the time, as well as the strain that the group’s packed schedule had placed on his relationship with bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne.

Look, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but there was a lot of politics going on,” he shared. “Certain people were doing certain things, certain people didn’t want to sign contracts, so I knew something was happening.

There were obviously underlying issues, like within our friendships, too. We’ve been together every day for five years, and we got sick of each other, if I’m being completely honest. So we were close.”

The singer added that he is now able to consider his experience with One Direction in “a much fonder light”, describing it as “a rush”.

One Direction pictured during one of their final appearances as a five-piece in 2014
One Direction pictured during one of their final appearances as a five-piece in 2014
Fred Duval via Getty Images

“Now I look back at it, it was a rush, you know?” Zayn told the host. “It was fun and it was something that was amazing, so of course I wasn’t going to understand it. It’s not something I expected in my life, but it was definitely fun for sure.”

However, he added that the intense scrutiny that he faced in 1D has prompted him to do far fewer interviews.

“I feel like we were so overexposed in the band that that’s why I took the time that I have to not even necessarily do interviews,” he explained.

Touching on his time in the band, Zayn revealed that another motivation for leaving the group was the fact that he “wanted to be the first person” to make a solo record.

“I completely, selfishly wanted to be the first person to go and make my own record, if I’m being completely honest with you,” he admitted to presenter Alex Cooper.

“I was like, ‘I’m gonna jump the gun here for the first time’. I’m a passive dude, but when it comes to my music and my business, I’m serious about it and I’m competitive. So I wanted to be the first to go and do my own thing.”

Zayn was, indeed, the first member of One Direction to release solo material, debuting his first single Pillowtalk in 2016, followed by his album Mind Of Mind later that year.

He later released Icarus Falls in 2018 and Nobody Is Listening in 2021, and will unveil comeback single Love Like This later this month.

Since 2016, Zayn has only performed live a handful of times, and has never toured as a solo artist.

“I’m still nervous now cause it’s been a few years [since] I’ve been on stage, but I have this energy too,” he revealed on the podcast.

“I feel like I have something to give and I want to get on stage and be there again and feel that. That’s one thing I can say, my fan base has always been supportive in that manner.”

“They’re always just like, we’re here, we’ve got you. Like, when you’re ready we’ve got you,” he added. “We’re gonna come and listen to your tunes. I gotta be super, super thankful for that and I’m super grateful. I feel that love for sure. I’m ready to prove these people right.”

Listen to Zayn’s full interview on Call Her Daddy here.


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