Zayn Malik Talks Gigi Hadid, One Direction & Anxiety, Takes Harry Styles As Role Model

Zayn Malik is finally opening up about the unanswered questions in his life, ranging from why he left One Direction, which gave him the boost he needed to become a musical star, to his relationship with Gigi Hadid. Malik also is getting candid about his battle with anxiety, noted E News.

Shocking fans of the band and of Zayn, Malik revealed in March 2015, his plans to exit One Direction. The band resulted from his appearance on The X Factor, along with Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Zayn’s departure made the band into a quartet, composed by singers who have, in varying degrees, shown their own interest in pursuing solo careers. At this time, One Direction still exists as a band, despite rumors that the singers have quietly disbanded.

Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles came together to form the band One Direction. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles came together to form the band One Direction. [Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel]“At that time in my life I felt I had done everything I could do there and I just needed to change it up,” clarified Malik.

“It didn’t feel brave.”

In addition, Zayn admitted that he suffers with insecurities. The singer is concerned that these insecurities cause him to be perceived as detached or distant from his fans, and he worries about that as well as his music.

“I just don’t have it in me to feel fully secure in anything I do. I always strive towards something better,” confessed the 23-year-old. “It’s why I think sometimes I come across the wrong way, a bit distant. I’m just stressed out trying to control how I’m perceived. I think about things a lot.”

Becoming a solo artist has been more than a professional goal. Malik also revealed that he has traveled a path of personal discovery and soul-searching.

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform. Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform. [Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]“My entire life has changed in the last year. I’m still taking it all in. I’ve found so much out about myself,” he commented.

Among those discoveries: A strong love of music, said Zayn, which he has translated into a new album, one in which he poured his true feelings.

“The album is a build up of six years and never being able to express what I wanted to say,” he shared. “I had something to get off my chest.”

But despite his joy in expressing himself through music, Malik has paid a price for his fame and success in the form of anxiety. That resulted in the cancellation of a set at London’s Capital Summertime Ball last month. Zayn turned to Twitter to share with his fans.

“Unfortunately, my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me…with the magnitude of the event,” he tweeted.

“I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”

Coming to his rescue was Gigi. Hadid openly shared her admiration for her boyfriend’s “bravery” on social media. But even though the singer and his girlfriend both used Twitter to discuss his anxiety, Malik revealed he prefers “having something real” to social media.

“If I had a choice I would take the camera off everyone’s iPhone and make sure we didn’t have Twitter or Facebook. It affects art form,” Zayn claimed. “There’s something to be said about living in the moment. I try to keep my phone for calls.”

Malik is quick to praise Gigi, describing Hadid as “super intelligent.” But he also appreciates women in general as a result of having three sisters and a mother who are close to him.

“I enjoyed the womanly influence. I have a lot of respect for women because of them. They are so strong, powerful and do everything themselves,” shared Zayn.

There’s someone else who has a strong impact on Malik, and that’s his former One Direction band mate Harry Styles, who has become his role model, according to the Mirror.

Zayn revealed that viewing Harry as a leading role in an upcoming war movie has motivated him to follow Styles’ lead. Malik explained that when The X Factor made him famous as a singer, he postponed his dreams of becoming an actor. But now Harry’s success has restored his faith in the possibility that he could star in a film as well.

“I started acting when I was in school,” recalled Zayn. “The acting completely stopped because I joined the band, but I’d definitely be interested if I was given the right part.”

[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Huffington Post]