One Direction fans finally know that former member Zayn Malik has managed to follow in the footsteps of his former band by debuting his first solo album in the No.1 slot. Malik broke the hearts of many One Direction fans by walking out of the worlds biggest boy-band exactly a year before dropping his debut solo album. Malik should feel blessed that so many One Direction fans have stuck by him, giving him a great basis for solo success. By topping the U.K album chart in its week of release Malik’s album Mind Of Mine emulated his first single “Pillowtalk,” and matched a feat achieved by One Direction for all five of their albums.
Zayn managed to kick Adele off the top of the chart, and of course, scoring a No. 1 album is a major achievement. However, it is highly likely that Malik views the album’s performance with very mixed feelings. According to the Sun, Zayn hit the top spot with sales of just 23,000 in the U.K., by comparison, Adele sold over 800,000 copies of 25 in the week of release. One Direction’s Made In The A.M. sold more than four times as many copies in its first week. One Direction’s Midnight Memories sold more than 10 times as many copies as Zayn’s in the U.K. in its first week on sale.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) April 2, 2016
Malik will be deeply concerned that his follow up singles to “Pillowtalk” have performed extremely poorly, “Like I Would” only just hit the top 30 before sinking in subsequent weeks.
According to Unreality TV, some of the reason for poor numbers in the U.K. may be down to a poor attitude by the 23-year-old. Zayn cancelled major interviews with BBC Radio 1 and ITV’s Graham Norton with short notice and his promotional activity in the U.K. has been practically invisible.
— Official Charts (@officialcharts) April 1, 2016
Malik may also have committed career suicide by seemingly dissing One Direction in a number of interviews he has given recently. Zayn may have been taken out of context, but in interviews with Billboard and Fader in recent months, Malik made some comments about the One Direction boys and their music that would have been better left unsaid.
According to UTV, a source has claimed that Zayn has concentrated on the U.S. market for his album release and that may explain poor U.K. sales.
“Zayn might be No1 but the sales will give him and his team a big fright. They have only got themselves to blame. Zayn has focused his attention on the US market – and the album is performing really well over there.
“But he has barely given any time to pushing the record here. [Malik] cancelled a lot of planned promo and that ultimately has cost him.”
Those comments suggest that Malik may have taken support from One Direction fans and his home music market for granted, something that Zayn denies. According to the BBC, Malik told the Official Charts Company that he does not take the support for granted.
“I can’t believe that I have managed to achieve this as a solo artist. I am very proud coming from Bradford achieving this in my home country.
“It’s mind-blowing to me. I don’t take the support I have received for granted. My life at 23 could have been very different.”
It is, perhaps, ironic that the mainstream music press have generally looked on Malik’s debut release fairly positively. The Guardian rated Zayn’s album well, saying that “it’s been created with love rather than with an eye on ticking boxes.” The Verge is a little less charitable towards Zayn, declaring that he “sounds like a boy amongst men.”
Malik will be disappointed with the level of sales he achieved in the U.K., but Zayn should be proud that he achieved the top spot. U.S. sales figures released this weekend will perhaps determine whether or not Zayn has achieved a commercial success. Malik will also be keeping a close eye on how his album performs next week. If it drops off the top spot, then Zayn will doubtless be very concerned.
Have you listened to Zayn Malik’s new release? If so let us know what you thought of it.
[Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP]