Zayn Malik Regrets Joining One Direction: Reveals Why He Pursued Abrupt Solo Career

Zayn Malik isn’t finished talking about One Direction just yet. And if fans were expecting an upbeat interview during his recent chat with ES magazine, they are certainly mistaking.

Malik infamously quit One Direction last year, stressing that he felt locked inside a cage while touring and making music with the group. At the time, Zayn also mentioned that his creative contributions to the band’s music were often overlooked in favor of bubblegum pop music.

It would eventually see him sign a new record deal with RCA — but this time around, he was heading out for a solo career instead.

One year after having ditched the group, without giving anyone a notice ahead of time, Zayn Malik has spoken out as to why there was just no chance he could’ve stayed with the band at that time, revealing that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the success that came with being in One Direction.

“I was very ignorant at 17 — blind beyond my years,” Zayn Malik tells the magazine, clearly referring to his time on The X Factor UK, where he first found fame after being placed in a boy group with the likes of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Naill Horan.

“I would say, ‘Do your research and be a bit more prepared about certain situations before you make a decision.’ I probably wouldn’t have [signed] — I would’ve waited a couple more extra years,” the singer goes on to mention, according to Hollywood Life.

“Just so that I had that time to just get my head around being a famous person. I’ve never been able to have, what’s the word? Anonymity. If I could go back, I’d have a few more years of anonymity.”

Zayn Malik has very much struggled with his own life in the limelight, as documented through the scandalous headlines that have surfaced about the 23-year-old in recent years.

While fans were convinced that Malik was happily in love with then-fiancée Perrie Edwards, shocking photos showed the pop star sleeping in bed with another woman, evidently causing problems in his former relationship and, evidently enough, with his group members.

Zayn was beginning to attract scandals that a group such as One Direction would always want to stay away from — especially when considering the fact that their target audience is teenage girls.

But aside from the handful of cheating allegations that were made during his relationship with Perrie Edwards, Zayn Malik has also been very vocal about his ongoing struggle dealing with anxiety.

Since leaving the boy band, Zayn has only performed at a handful of shows, with sources claiming that there definitely won’t be a tour in support of Malik’s debut album, Mind of Mine, since the “Pillowtalk” singer isn’t mentally ready to embark a grueling scheduling under these circumstances.

During his time with One Direction, Zayn was on tour almost every year, releasing platinum-selling albums and making endless TV appearances. But judging by his latest interview, it’s apparent that Malik felt extremely uncomfortable being pushed into doing things he clearly wasn’t ready for.

Malik lives a rather quiet lifestyle with girlfriend Gigi Hadid, who he is said to have moved in with earlier this year. The couple currently reside in New York, and while Zayn doesn’t have any touring plans scheduled in the near future, there are rumors floating around that he’s already working on his sophomore album.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]