Zayn Malik Quits 1D: Was It All A Publicity Stunt To Launch Solo Career?

It will not have escaped anyone’s attention that Zayn Malik quit One Direction this week. Zayn sent his millions of fans into despair when he quit the boy band’s On the Road Again tour after just 16 shows. Malik flew home alone reportedly suffering from stress after pictures emerged on social media that seemed to suggest that Malik was cheating on his fiance, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

After a week at home recovering from stress, Zayn Malik became the big story of the week when he announced that he was quitting One Direction for good. As reported by the Mirror, Malik explained his departure from One Direction in a statement.

“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.

“I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

The Daily Mail claims that, amazingly, just 24 hours after quitting One Direction, Zayn Malik was seen entering a recording studio, and Malik has already revealed that he will release a solo album. According to Contact Music, Malik has already held talks with Simon Cowell, and his solo album will be released by Cowell’s company, SyCo.

An industry insider told the Sun that Zayn Malik “is now the most in-demand solo artist in the world.”

”There’s huge excitement as he’s the first member who will be able to release on their own. Simon was very understanding about him leaving the band but quickly made it clear he would stay a Syco artist for his future projects.”

Zayn Malik and his One Direction band mates, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan, are under a five-year, five-album contract with Cowell’s SyCo, which expires at the end of this year. The fact that Zayn Malik has agreed to release his solo material through the same label is sure to lead to speculation that this is a way for Malik to avoid being involved in a lengthy legal dispute.

The lifespan of a boy band is traditionally a short one, and there is no reason to suspect that the story will be any different for One Direction. It was reported last month that the band’s shows in Australia did not sell out and that ticket prices were cut in half. A cynic might think that Zayn Malik quitting One Direction is, in part at least, a clever ploy to launch Malik’s solo career and to regenerate interest in One Direction.

[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]