One Direction was based on different thought patterns perhaps from the very beginning. Harry Styles and Zayn Malik, for example, are very different people, but they both brought joy to fans lives, in part because of those differences. It is OK for people to be different, and even if someone is negative because they are anxious or sad it doesn’t mean they are a bad person or trying to be mean. Some people are just complicated.
Harry Styles and Zayn Malik pushed each other to be better. They strove to make art in an environment that was in many ways not conducive to making art, and yet because of that striving to get the best possible music out there, that Zayn and Harry both have, it worked. The powerful contrast of energy that sparked between them is what set One Direction apart. It is an age-old element of all bands that is necessary for greatness.
One Direction has potential mainly because of that differences in personalities. Every good band in history has had great personality differences and internal clashes. That is really what makes music good. Musicians push each other to be better. A band’s dynamic takes a lot of different voices, not just singing, but discussing and building a sound.
Today Harry Styles and Zayn Malik both gave interviews. Harry said some things fans perhaps didn’t want to hear, but the way he says things makes everything OK. Zayn said some things that were basically pretty neutral in meaning, and immediately the word “slams” appears in headlines all over the internet. Why is Malik always perceived as slamming things?
Harry Styles and Zayn Malik have a very different way of speaking, and people often misinterpret Zayn. Malik isn’t slamming anyone or anything. He’s just giving unfiltered data about his feelings. He is telling fans how he feels, and Zayn isn’t feeling well. Mr. Malik is suffering from anxiety so sometimes Mr. Malik is unhappy and when he is and gives an interview people hear that unhappiness. Fans don’t always understand him. The Sun quoted Malik’s comments.
“I hate the word celebrity. I think it’s a dangerous road to go down, thinking of yourself as a celebrity because then you somehow automatically think that label makes you superior to other people.”
Zayn Malik means he feels that he’s no better than anyone else. He doesn’t feel superior to anyone else. He’s really being humble and truly feels humbled. But because he chose to start his sentence with the words “I hate” people automatically think he’s slamming something. What he hates is being put on a pedestal and people expecting him to be anything other than himself.
Zayn Malik knows he isn’t perfect and he worries about people’s expectations, and perhaps his inability to fulfill those expectations. That’s what he is telling his fans, and that is what is at the very roots of his anxiety. It isn’t that he doesn’t love the attention he gets from fans. Zayn does love his fans, but he is very afraid of disappointing them. When one thinks of it, that is really sweet.
Harry Styles made a comment today that probably saddened One Directioners hoping for a speedy One Direction reunion. Styles basically told fans that he is enjoying the break, and so are the other guys. Harry said he didn’t know when he and the other band members will want to get back together. Styles is quoted by Capital FM, answering the question of when and if One Direction would reunite.
“I don’t know. When we started people always asked, where do you think you’ll be in five years? It’s a difficult question to answer. I would never say we’ll never do anything again but it’s good for us to be exploring different things.”
Zayn Malik and Harry Styles of One Direction have very different ways of speaking. Styles may make fans cry, but they will not get mad at Harry or think he is slamming something, because of that Styles delivery. When asked the billion dollar question, Styles is positive about something that will be seen as negative and yet Styles puts it in such a positive way.
Harry says he doesn’t know. That is a sort of disarming neutral. Then he hits on a good memory, “When we started” then he mentions they were together for five years. Then he actually says “it is good” if Styles says it is good then it is good, even if it is not at all what fans want to hear.
Zayn Malik and Harry Styles of One Direction phrase their ideas differently because they feel differently inside right now. Zayn is really going through some emotional stuff. Mr. Malik is quoted in The Sun, speaking of creating music and how it might be received.
“There was a lot of built-up anxiety to create this thing. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. So when that song went out, and I saw the reaction from the fans, that took a little weight off me for a bit. Obviously, there’s still a lot of pressure. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Because Zayn Malik is suffering from anxiety and is a bit unsure of himself, which he freely admits, he is feeling pressure and stress. Does Harry worry about being a one hit wonder? No, but like Malik, he is working his behind off to make sure that doesn’t happen. They are doing exactly the same thing, but feeling very differently as they approach the same task.
Zayn Malik is stressed out and having trouble dealing with things. Harry Styles, on the other hand, is excited about his future. Styles isn’t forcing anything to happen, with the other guys in the band. The way he looks at it, when the guys are all ready, they will come. In the meantime, Styles is staying busy and building a more lasting career, and so is Zayn. Harry is quoted again in Capital FM.
“Maybe at some point everyone will want to do something again but it’ll be better if it happens naturally like, ‘Hey, we all really want to do this again.’ If that were to happen it would be amazing. I would never rule that out. It’s the most important, greatest thing that every happened to me, being in that band. It completely changed my life.”
Harry Styles is remaining positive about the band, and his future, with or without One Direction. Harry sees the plus side, and he feels positive about his own abilities, and he feels good about what is going on around him. Zayn doesn’t always feel good. That is very common in artists. Every band desperately needs one of those guys to keep from rewriting the song, “Sunshine Lollypops and Rainbows” every day. Zayn tells fans that he didn’t feel good.
“I know that musicians are seen as one-sided people a lot of the time. But we do have other elements to us as well. I didn’t feel good. Do you know what I mean? And if you don’t feel good … You need to be able to express what it is that you are. I’m free at last.”
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One Direction music was feel good music, for the most part. Harry Styles is a feel good kind of guy, and Zayn Malik runs way deeper and perhaps darker, but dark sells too, and it is needed in music. Deeper elements of music come from suffering and a sad place. Zayn provided that, but it wasn’t encouraged as much as the happy, feel good music for One Direction.
Zayn Malik’s emotions run deep and he has a real need to express them. He loves the blues and that’s why they call it the blues. It is sad and it comes from a complex psyche and a tortured heart. That is not to say that Zayn can’t feel better and still be a great artist. It is hoped that he will recover from his acute anxiety, but he will always be deep and complicated. Fans have to make an effort to understand what he’s about, but Zayn isn’t slamming anyone or anything, except occasionally his own head against a wall.
Zayn Malik and Harry Styles worked together as a productive element of One Direction, and now Zayn and Harry still need each other, for balance, perhaps more than any other two elements in the band if they were to reunite. Zayn wants and needs Harry right now, and it would be nice if they could reunite, if not for music then as friends.
One Direction’s Harry Styles and Zayn Malik are each part of a dynamic that makes good music great.
[Featured Image by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]