One Direction may have parted ways with fifth member Zayn Malik nearly seven months ago much to the dismay of One Direction’s fans, but according to television producer and One Direction founder Simon Cowell, the band has not suffered because of Malik’s abrupt departure in March.
In a new interview with Access Hollywood, Simon Cowell weighs-in on several of the current rumors facing One Direction, including whether or not he believes Harry Styles penned the group’s latest track, “Perfect,” in honor of Styles’ former romance with Taylor Swift and whether or not One Direction’s new album can outsell Justin Bieber.
As One Direction gears up for the release of their highly anticipated fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., Cowell responds to speculation that the group is fearful of being outsold by Justin Bieber’s new album, Purpose, which is set to drop on the same day that One Direction will release Made in the A.M.
When asked who he believes has the edge in terms of upcoming album sales, Cowell simply admits, “We’ll see,” before explaining that based on what he has heard from One Direction’s new album so far, Made in the A.M. will certainly be the group’s best release to date.
Simon’s comment about Made in the A.M. being One Direction’s best album yet instantly sparks conversation about the group’s former member, Zayn Malik, and how Malik’s abrupt departure from the group may impact One Direction’s album sales.
Reflecting on Zayn’s decision to part ways from Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan, Cowell admits that he doesn’t believe Malik’s absence will have an impact on One Direction’s success.
“Did it make any difference to the record? None whatsoever. I knew there was an issue. I knew he wasn’t particularly happy. I think he should have stuck it out.”
Simon goes on to explain that Zayn Malik had his own reasons for wanting to part ways with One Direction and that nobody ever tried to influence him to stay in the group.
Cowell’s comments about Zayn and Made in the A.M. come just days after Harry Styles made a similar statement regarding how Zayn Malik’s departure has had little impact on One Direction’s new album.
During an interview with Coup De Main Magazine, Styles reflects on how One Direction’s writing and recording process for their new album differed without the presence of their former fifth member.
Styles acknowledges that while it’s clear One Direction is missing Zayn’s vocals on the new album, nothing else was really affected.
“I think it was obviously different, the process, because there was one less of us. But at the same time it didn’t change…in terms of the writing of the album. It didn’t change much.”
Styles further echoes Simon Cowell’s comments about Made in the A.M. being One Direction’s best record to date, noting that the group was more focused on making their fifth album because they all believed in the music.
Speaking of One Direction’s new music, Simon Cowell also weighs-in on whether or not he believes Harry Styles was taking shots at his former girlfriend, Taylor Swift, in the group’s new track, “Perfect.”
“No one told me it was about Taylor,” Simon admits, noting that he understands how fans can infer that it is in fact about Swift because of the lyrical content of the track, “But I was never told that, no.”
While both One Direction and Simon Cowell appear to be in agreement about the benefits of Zayn Malik’s abrupt departure, it looks like fans will have to wait and see if One Direction can outsell Justin Bieber when their Made in the A.M. album drops on November 13.
What’s your opinion of Simon Cowell’s comments about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction?
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]