Zayn Malik On One Direction Relationship, His New Career Without Them

It’s been nearly a year since Zayn Malik struck out on his own and left One Direction behind. The former bandmates seemed to have an amicable relationship when Malik’s One Direction departure occurred, but things have since soured. In addition to Zayn throwing shade at his former One Direction crew, it seems he’s gotten only radio silence from Harry and the rest of the band. NME learned from Zayn that he has not seen any of the other One Direction members since he left the band this past March. Malik said he signed his new gig with Capital Records because he wanted to “make real music” and (presumably) explore his own artistic style.

Zayn Malik, former One Direction band member, at the ARIA Awards in Australia on November 26, 2014. [Image Via Eva Rinaldi,, CC-BY SA 2.0]

Malik originally auditioned for reality show The X-Factor as a solo performer in 2010, as did the other four members of what would become One Direction. After Zayn and the others failed the auditions individually, they were grouped together and became the band known for such hits as “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story Of My Life.” Their musical personas seem more or less the same since Zayn’s departure, but as people the dynamic between Malik and his former pals is definitely different.

Malik said that nobody in One Direction has reached out to him, and it seems the band is ignoring his departure for the most part. One Direction did leave a long, heartfelt post about his departure on 1D’s personal Facebook page, but otherwise not much has been said publicly about Zayn’s absence. It’s possible Zayn’s leaving has hurt the band, as One Direction is currently on hiatus and some fans speculate they may be done for good. The band themselves have promised One Direction will be back, but haven’t given a specific date or time frame on their return.

Remember this is us movie?

A photo posted by Zayn Malik (@zaynmaillk) on

Malik told E! Online that he has tried to make contact with his old entourage, but “nobody has reached out.” Zayn’s reaction to this was a very noncommittal “whatever.” The site went on to mention that, since the breakup, Malik and Liam Payne have spoken over the phone, though not in person. Malik seems to be moving on just fine, and his debut solo album Mind of Mine is expected to drop on March 25, 2016. Zayn’s album is already available on iTunes for $13.99, and hype for Malik’s new song “Pillowtalk” is already being drummed up.

Malik also had other reasons for leaving One Direction. According to the Inquisitr, Zayn felt frustrated that he was not able to be himself or establish his own voice while with the band. There were also rules in Malik’s One Direction contract that banned him from, for instance, having a beard. Zayn expressed disappointment with these types of rules, saying they were keeping him from being his true self.

Simon Cowell, who owns One Direction’s record label SyCo Entertainment, seemingly had no hard feelings about Zayn’s departure and even wished the 22-year-old singer luck in pursuing his new career. Cowell helped create the band during their X-Factor stint in 2010, but didn’t take the breakup personally. On the other hand, he seemed to understand Malik’s feelings that it was time to go and become his own artist.

Malik did mention that he still remains close to Liam Payne despite their differences, and had positive things to say about the last time he and Liam spoke. However, Zayn’s relationships with his other fellow One Directioners don’t seem to be as solid. With One Direction seemingly fading away while Zayn is just beginning to shine, perhaps Malik made the right decision in leaving the band. Whether Malik’s departure is related to One Direction’s slight decline is unclear.

[Image Via Fiona McKinlay,, CC-BY SA 2.0]