Zayn Malik feels liberated
Zayn Malik says life post-One Direction feels "liberating."
The 22-year-old singer, who dramatically quit the British boy band in March, admits he never enjoyed "being told what to do" and thinks fans will understand why he left the group when they hear his solo music.
In a video interview, which is set to his debut track 'Befour,' to promote his cover of the new issue of The FADER magazine, he said: "It's a nice feeling to come out of a place where you're being told what to do ... just because of certain expectations or certain things people want to see. It is just all my perspective, and that's fully liberating.
"I don't feel like people really know what I'm going to give them, musically. And once they hear it, I feel like they will understand me a little bit more, and they'll understand why I did what I did, and why I left the band, and why I had to write this s**t down. Because for five - not even for five years, for ten years, this album has been in my brain, and it's just been there, sat with me, needing to be out."
Zayn admits some of the songs from his upcoming album, a lot of which was recorded outside in the woods, were inspired by his time with former bandmates Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Liam Payne, as well as his childhood.
He said: "Life experiences have just been the influences for the album and just what I've been through, especially in the last five years, with being in the band and everything.
"I used to listen to a lot of Bollywood being a kid and stuff, so that definitely influenced the music a little bit. And then as I got older, I guess I just started listening to a lot of my dad's old records, like '90s stuff - a lot of R&B and a lot of rap."