“It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it.”
Zayn Malik, on his leaving One Direction

This Friday Zayn Malik is poised to release his first solo album (entitled Mind Of Mine) since leaving One Direction and on the eve of this release Malik took a moment to look back–almost introspectively–at what prompted him to free himself as an artist from the grip of a superstar band and go on his own.  Thus, with all the overwhelming success and accolades that those years in 1D brought him, Malik was not himself and that just did not compute. Zayn 2Says Malik:

“There were certain restrictions in terms of the way that we could come outside of that young teen boy look. Mainly my beard, honestly. I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it, and decided to keep it anyway. That was just because I looked older than the rest of them.”

Another frustrating point for Malik was his ability to speak during interviews.  He said, “It’s nice to have the chance to speak,. Now I get to talk about what I’m passionate about.”

Leaving One Direction was not the only change that Malik made in 2015.  He also split with former fiancee Perry Edwards and in fact, as he puts it, he “fell out of love” with Edwards and that most of his solo album is about their break-up. Zayn 3On writing music, Malik added this:

“I feel like you get creative with things when you can be honest. Whether that’s positive or negative, it can work both ways. If you’re in a really good place, you can write a really good, upbeat song. When you’re in a s**t place you can write a downbeat fucking ballad! That’s just the way it is. But I feel like you can draw good creative things from both.”

But in the end it was his “authenticity” that he found again that made him whole, as a performer.  Malik described that finding like this:

“I believe that success follows authenticity. People see through fake s—. They don’t want to see that; they want a real person. That’s why Kanye [West] is so successful. He’s speaking the truth, regardless of whomever he offends, he isn’t bothered. That’s admirable.”

Malik has just released another track ahead of the release of his upcoming album.  That track is entitled Befour.  Take a listen below:

Depending on your point of view, Malik’s comments on his days in One Direction could be considered offensive or as he says, “ungrateful.”  Conversely, Malik can be seen as an artist just being true to himself and doing what he feels is right while refusing to give into a manufactured and prefabbed project which he found conflicting.  Either way, it seems clear that his days in One Direction are behind him.  He no longer looks the same, sounds the same, or represents the same as he did when he was in one of the world’s biggest pop bands.  Having said that, it’s time to move on and bring your record and your creativity and say what you want to say.  The microphone, the stage, and the floor, are all yours.  Do what you want.  It’s time and it all starts Friday.  Leave the past where it belongs.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor




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