One Direction fans are taking to social media to express their sadness over the seven-month anniversary of One Direction’s former fifth member, Zayn Malik, having abruptly quit the band amid One Direction’s worldwide tour.
Fans of both Malik and One Direction took to Twitter to trend the hashtag #7MonthsWithoutZayn to reflect on how One Direction has changed following Malik’s absence and to reminisce about the group in seemingly happier times, Gossip Cop reports.
Zayn Malik announced back in March that he had decided to part ways with the group due to his desire to take “some private time out of the spotlight” so he could “be a normal 22-year-old.”
While Malik apologized to One Direction fans for his sudden departure, it was later revealed that Zayn had plans to embark on a solo music career despite One Direction’s plans to take an extended hiatus following the release of their fifth album, Made in the A.M.
Despite One Direction’s fans still mourning the loss of Zayn via social media, One Direction’s remaining members, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, have been vocal about their feelings towards Zayn Malik since his departure.
Harry Styles recently reflected on Zayn’s departure during an interview with Coup de Main magazine, telling the publication that not much has changed in One Direction since Zayn decided to leave the group in March.
Styles explains that while the sound of the group is obviously different due to the absence of Malik’s vocals, the writing process and passion for their music hasn’t altered because of Zayn’s decision to leave One Direction.
“I think the focus over the last five years has always been the same in that we want to make the best record that we can. I think that didn’t change in any way.”
Similarly, Harry Styles seemingly disses Zayn by noting that One Direction has grown “stronger, probably through the realization that we all have the same goal for a lot of things,” since Malik left the band.
Just days after Harry Styles’ reported diss on Zayn made headlines, fellow bandmate Niall Horan opened up about the true reason behind Zayn’s decision to leave the group in order to focus on his own solo career music.
In an interview with 2FM, Horan confessed that Zayn Malik’s absence has actually brought One Direction closer together, admitting that they could all tell that Zayn wasn’t enjoying being in the group after the release of their fourth album.
“Towards the end you could see he wasn’t enjoying it as much, his heart wasn’t in it as much.”
Horan further admits that the group never had any arguments or disagreements after learning of Zayn’s desire to quit the band, noting that it was clear that Malik “just fell out of love with it in the end.”
Similarly, One Direction founder and television producer Simon Cowell recently offered his opinion on One Direction’s success after Zayn, noting that he feels Malik should have stuck with the group until their hiatus in 2016.
Speaking to Access Hollywood, Simon Cowell admits that he feels One Direction’s impending album, Made in the A.M., is the group’s “best album they’ve ever made.”
Cowell’s comments sparked conversation about how the group is fairing without Zayn Malik, prompting Simon to throw shade at One Direction’s former member by insisting that Malik’s departure made no difference to the group’s success.
“I knew there was an issue,” Cowell explains, “I knew [Zayn] wasn’t particularly happy. I think he should have stuck it out. But look, he had his own reasons. Zayn had decided that he’d had enough. It’s his choice, not a prison sentence.”
Currently, Zayn Malik is working on his debut solo record while One Direction prepares for Made in the A.M.’s release on November 13.
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