Zayn Malik’s ‘Like I Would’ Video Copies Usher’s 2004 ‘Yeah’ Video

Zayn Malik’s “Like I Would” video continues what started back in Usher’s “Yeah.” Director X turned Zayn’s “Like I Would” video into a more complete laser light show. The big difference between Usher and Zayn is the dancing. In Usher’s video, Usher is the center of attention as he showcases all kinds of crazy moves. In Zayn’s video, Zayn leaves the dancing to others. Zayn just stands in the center of something like a Star Trek teleportation chamber while showing off his one orange contact lens. But one weird contact lens and a futuristic jacket isn’t enough to make him not seem distant in this video.

Director X directed both videos. He wanted to see how far he could go with the laser motif. He’s been thinking about expanding the concept since after the release of “Yeah” in 2004. Another element is the neon, glow-in-the-dark fashion, a direct inspiration from Tron. But even that doesn’t save Zayn from looking tired and shy. Malik might be looking aloof due to all the lasers distracting his attention.

Director X told Entertainment Weekly how the “Like I Would” video shoot came together.

“I’ve done a bunch of laser-themed music videos before. I did Usher’s ‘Yeah!’ and I’ve been wanting to redo that video for a long time. I’ve got, what, 10 years of thinking about what I could have done differently? Something like that. So I brought in all that old experience and the Cyclone, and we started building it from there. Then the team started getting involved. Like, ‘Hey, what if we did clothes that light up?’ We held on to some of the dancing idea from the original treatment and just mixed all that together.”

Zayn’s Mind of Mine made history by getting the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart upon its release. The achievement is unique for a first solo album by a male recording artist from the United Kingdom. Zayn’s “Like I Would” video comes after Director X’s completion of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” Rihanna’s “Work,” and Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home.” He has made videos for some of the biggest stars in R&B, rap, and pop. In less than 24 hours since its release, “Like I Would” has garnered almost 1 million views on YouTube.

Zayn Malik can’t do much better than he’s doing now. Aside from having four music videos from tracks off Mind of Mine, Zayn performed at the iHeartRadio Music Awards and performed at the iHeartRadio Theater for his album release celebration. Zayn hasn’t announced any tour dates, which makes sense if you’ve been following One Direction over the past year. One of the reasons Zayn gave for leaving in the middle of their tour was wanting some private time.

Time reported on the official statement of Zayn’s departure.

“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 apologise 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.”

Zayn probably won’t go back to the immensely stressful touring schedule that he had with One Direction. Despite the impact of his solo album, Malik hasn’t tried to immediately capitalize on his popularity by arranging world tours. He’s being very selective about when he performs. But Zayn Malik’s “Like I Would” video success may force him to have more appearances with the music buying public.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]