Just six months after his departure from the ever-elusive boy band One Direction, Zayn Malik is ready to stand in his own spotlight. In the promo video for an interview with culture magazine The Fader, Zayn swoons that his new work is "all my perspective, and that's totally liberating."
Zayn tells The Fader some things that any One Directioner—and any follower of popular music—should know. Here are his 5 most interesting quotes:
1. Why he left One Direction
In May, fans were shocked to hear that Zayn would no longer be a part of the world-famous boy band that launched his career and kept him employed for five years. Zayn clarifies in the Fader interview that he left the group because of artistic differences:
I wasn’t 100 percent behind the music. It wasn’t me. It was music that was already given to us, and we were told this is what is going to sell to these people. As much as we were the biggest, most famous boy band in the world, it felt weird. We were told to be happy about something that we weren’t happy about.
and he also says:
I just want to make music now. If people want to listen to that, then I’m happy. If they don’t want to listen to it, then don’t fucking listen to it. I’m cool with that too. I’ve got enough. I don’t need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied.
2. His next album is completely mapped out
Zayn's solo album, according to the feature, is expected to be released in the spring of 2016. The album will span genres and Zayn helped write every single song.
To me, it’s like I stood in front of a canvas for about five years, and someone said like, ‘You’re not allowed to paint on this canvas.’ I’ve got the paint, I’ve got the fucking brushes, and I can’t get it on there. Now someone removed the plastic and was like, ‘Alright, you can now paint.’
Later, he adds:
I can map every lyric and every note to mean something to me… It’s a snapshot of my life and the thoughts on my life, my hopes, my aspirations, and my regrets in the summer of 2015.
3. There aren't any secret One Direction relationships
No matter how many fans want to 'ship Liam and Harry or Louis and Harry or literally anyone and Harry, Zayn says none of that's happening:
There’s no secret relationships going on with any of the band members… It’s not funny, and it still continues to be quite hard for them. They won’t naturally go put their arm around each other because they’re conscious of this thing that’s going on, which is not even true. They won’t do that natural behavior.
4. He doesn't want to be a stand-in for all diversity
Zayn has been open about being practicing Muslim. Every year he tweets "Eid Mubarak." But in the interview he says he wasn't trying to make a statement:
I always felt good that I was, like, first of my kind in what I was doing. I enjoyed that I brought the diversity. But I would never be trying to influence anything or try to stamp myself as a religious statement or portrayal of anything. I am me. I’m just doing me.”
5. He absolutely did not break up with Perrie over text
Love died this summer when news broke Zayn and his longterm girlfriend Perrie Edwards (who is in the girl group Little Mix) were no longer a couple. The Sun even reported that the two had broken up via text. But Zayn did not do this:
I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that.
There's a reason Zayn's always been your favorite.
Watch the promo video for the feature and check out the full story over at The Fader.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.