Five Strange Things We Learned About Zayn Malik From His Billboard Cover

Now that One Direction have gone their separate ways, it’s evidently occurred to the group’s first runaway, Zayn Malik, that he needs to up his press game if he’s to rise above the inevitable frenzy that’ll accompany the even more inevitable arrival of the rest of his former bandmates’ solo careers.

That particular tactic appears to have begun in earnest in Malik’s newly-released Billboard cover feature. Boldly declaring that he wasn’t going to “censor myself any more”, he discussed One Direction’s legacy, his new record, and how he likes “girls that are a bit chunky in certain areas – the nice areas”, but also women who can have “an intellectual conversation; someone who can construct a sentence beyond what hair and makeup they’re wearing, and talk about something political or about the world.” That’s quite a Tinder bio.

Anyway, here are some of the other strange things that we learned about zany Zayn, whilst you can read the full feature here.


He doesn’t “fuck with indie rock”

Asked about the nature of his musical relationship with his old bandmates, the 22-year-old stated that their tastes didn’t sit with “where I sit as a musician.”

“The other boys’ taste was generally indie rock,” Zayn continued. “It’s good music, but I don’t fuck with it. That was never cool where I was from,” simultaneously taking down the Bradford indie scene in one fell swoop.

He can apparently walk around Bradford unnoticed

Speaking of his hometown, Zayn also revealed that the day after he left the One Direction tour he went back to his roots. “I seen my mum, who cooked me some great food. I ate for three weeks because I’d lost so much weight in the band. I seen my sisters and put my dad’s sheepskin on – I walked around and everyone thought I was him. Nobody bothered me. It was good for my soul to be back in Bradford.” Bradford’s Directioners must be kicking themselves.


He only smokes “sativa” marijuana

Zayn only smokes weed that he believes will imbue him with a flush of creativity – or, as the feature puts it, award him “a degree of ambition”. Sativa is apparently a “more energising, cerebral strain of marijuana”, but if you ask us, smoking it is still going to give you a big dose of lethargy and a substantial case of the munchies.

He went “shittin’-in-the-woods camping” with his producer

Frank Ocean producer James “Malay” Ho revealed all about a trip to the wilderness that he’d taken with Zayn. “We went camping for a week in the Angeles Forest – set up a generator and a tent so we could track in the woods. It was the complete opposite of what he’d been doing. We had the gas grill, BB guns, bows and arrows. It was a shittin’-in-the-woods-type thing.” Sounds like fun.

And if the solo career doesn’t take off, he can become an aspiring amateur graffiti artist

Taking a little-bit-too-literal inspiration from Will Smith’s timeless character, Zayn revealed that he’d painted the words ‘Fresh Prince’ on a wall in his LA home. “I like to graffiti my house,” he revealed. “The garden goes up three stories into the mountain. There are these walls that look white from one side, but when you walk up the stairs, the inside is all graffiti.”