Claims That Zayn Malik Is Rejoining One Direction Are Total Hogwash

Earlier this week, claims emerged that Zayn Malik is in “secret talks” with Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson over rejoining One Direction. No fan of the world’s most successful boy-band will need to be reminded that Malik walked out on One Direction in March of last year. Malik’s decision broke millions of hearts when he packed his bags just weeks into One Direction’s world tour, and since then, Zayn has begun to forge a solo career. In the wake of Malik’s departure, One Direction have also gone on hiatus to pursue their own solo endeavours, and as things stand, their future as a band is far from clear.

Since Malik left, he has been less than complimentary about One Direction and even less complimentary about the way the band is managed. In his interview with the Fader, Zayn revealed that he was never totally committed to One Direction’s music, as the style was alien to him.

“It was music that was already given to us, and we were told this is what is going to sell to these people. As much as we were the biggest, most famous boy band in the world, it felt weird. We were told to be happy about something that we weren’t happy about.”

Malik followed that up with an interview with Billboard. Zayn used that piece to distance himself further from One Direction. Malik even claimed that other One Direction members had “pride issues” because they failed to return his calls. It is totally understandable that Malik would want some clear air between him and the rest of One Direction. Zayn did, after all, have a debut solo album on the horizon at that point, and he needed to ensure that fans knew that has music was distinct from One Direction. Many One Direction fans have stuck with Malik despite him being accused of “dissing” the band and their music.

Despite Malik making it clear that he was moving on from One Direction, many fans hope that he will reunite with his former bandmates. This week Fashion & Style claimed that Zayn was in secret talks over a return to One Direction. They cite Hollywood Life, hardly a reliable source, as the root of their story. The other reference was a comment that Zayn made to the Sunday Times over six months ago. At that time, Malik said he would not rule out a return to One Direction “if the time was right.”

The truth is that neither Malik or any member of One Direction is in a position to discuss the return of Zayn in any meaningful way. Malik is trying to establish himself as a solo artist, and all the other members of One Direction are busy with their own projects. Zayn’s former bandmates, Liam Payne and Niall Horan, have frequently promised fans that One Direction will reunite in some form and at some point in the future. At present, we have absolutely no idea what that will look like.

If the experience of other boybands gives us a clue as to the future, then any reunion is likely to be limited. The most likely scenario for One Direction in the short-term will be a limited “greatest hits” tour and album release. Whether Malik would be welcome on such a tour is up for debate, but it should not be ruled out in the longer term. After all, the Eagles said they would only reunite when “hell freezes over,” and just a few years later, they were back with the Hell Freezes Over album and tour.

In the short-term, Malik fans would do well to ignore claims hinting at Zayn’s return. Malik’s walkout and subsequent comments will doubtless have left his former bandmates feeling hurt and betrayed. Some will find it very tough to forgive Malik in the near future, he has lost their trust. Zayn will find that trust is rather like virginity, in that you can only lose it once.

Given Malik’s actions over the past year and the lack of veracity of sources claiming that he is in talks it is hogwash to suggest that Zayn is set to return to One Direction. In the longer term, who knows, stranger things have happened.

[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]

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