Zayn Malik always knew he wanted to leave One Direction
Zayn Malik has confessed he was always considering an exit from One Direction ever since the formation of the boy band on U.K. talent show The X Factor, insisting no one incident led to his decision.
The 22 year old shocked fans in March (15) when he quit the group during the Asian leg of a world tour, revealing he simply wanted to live a "normal" life, and rumours about what made him part ways with his bandmates after five years have swirled around ever since.
In a new interview with Fader magazine, Zayn reveals there was always a part of him that didn't feel like being in a boy band - and he just felt it was time to move on.
"I guess I just wanted to go home from the beginning," Zayn says. "I was always thinking it. I just didn’t know when I was going to do it. Then, by the time I decided to go, it just felt right on that day. I woke up on that morning, if I'm being completely honest with you, and was like, 'I need to go home. I just need to be me now, because I've had enough'."
"I was with my little cousin at the time," he recalls. "We were sat in the hotel room and I was just, 'Should I go home?' And he was like, 'If you want to go home, let’s go home'. So we left."
Looking back, Zayn now realises he and his former bandmates had different goals, and he knew he would be just as satisfied creating music he was passionate about for a much smaller audience.
"A big part of why I left the band is I made the realisation that it wasn't actually about being the biggest anymore," he explains. "It wasn’t about the amount of ticket sales that I get. It was more about the people that I reach. I want to reach them in the right way, and I want them to believe what I'm saying.
"I’ve done enough in terms of financial backing for me to live comfortably. I just want to make music now. If people want to listen to that, then I’m happy. If they don’t want to listen to it, then don’t f**king listen to it. I’m cool with that too. I’ve got enough. I don’t need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied."
Zayn is now working on creating his first solo album, which has more of an R&B feel to it, unlike One Direction's pop sound - music Zayn says he wouldn't listen to even if he wasn't in the band.
"I wasn’t 100 per cent behind the music," he reveals. "It wasn’t me... That’s not music that I would listen to. Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man.
"As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am. If I was sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play some cool s**t, you know what I mean? I want to make music that I think is cool s**t. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for."
- Cover Media