In recent weeks, Malik – who left the band in 2015 – has been sharing covers of the pop band’s songs, most recently airing a version of ‘Night Changes’. Earlier this summer, he shared a video of himself covering the band’s track ‘You and I’.
Appearing as a guest on The Zack Sang Show this week, Tomlinson discussed his feelings about the covers and whether he and Malik are still friends.
“He’s a different calibre in terms of singer, Zayn, definitely. I will say that,” Tomlinson said of the covers. “I wasn’t just liking it for the sake of liking it. It was a nice feeling ’cause, you know, in the past he’s said what he’s said about the band. And I understand some of what he was saying.
“For me, in those videos, it showed he was reflecting,” he added. “It showed that he was thinking about those times. Of course, at the same time, showing off his incredible voice. But that’s why it made me feel good, ’cause it was like, ah, maybe you’re thinking about good times in the band.”
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Of the pair’s current relationship, Tomlinson said: “Are we friends? You’d have to ask him. I believe I said when you asked me a similar question before, I said… ‘I don’t think I’m mature enough to get over what’s frustrating me in that relationship.’ I don’t know if I’m mature enough now, but I’m definitely closer to being over all that.”
In an interview last month, Tomlinson also shared his opinion on One Direction’s first studio album, 2011’s ‘Up All Night’, revealing that he’s not particularly fond of it after 11 years.
Tomlinson will release his second solo album ‘Faith In The Future’, the follow-up to his debut full-length effort (2020’s ‘Walls’) on November 11. You can pre-order/pre-save the record here.
Tomlinson’s forthcoming album was produced by Mike Crossey, who’s previously worked with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 and Wolf Alice. The singer co-wrote the LP alongside The Music frontman Rob Harvey, and the songwriting and production team Red Triangle.