In June, Malik cancelled an appearance at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at London’s Wembley Stadium, citing “the worst anxiety of my career” as his reason. He also cancelled his Dubai gig in October.
A message from Malik, posted online by the promoters, read: “I have been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances,” he said. “I feel I am making progress but I have today acknowledged that I do not feel sufficiently confident to move forward with the planned show in Dubai in October.”
Having suffered from anxiety himself, Robbie Williams offered up some advice during an interview with Mike Toolan and Kelly Pegg at Key 103 Christmas Live.
“Well he’s kind of been pulling out of promo and stuff,” Robbie said. “And I know that he suffers with anxiety. I think that, the one bit of advice, I know it’s a bit therapy speak but I think that people sort of assume that one day you’re gonna find your confidence and you will step into that confidence and it will find you. It doesn’t come but what you can be is brave.”
He added, “So, I would say to Zayn, just be brave mate. Just be brave. You might never be confident but you can be brave. That’s I’ll say. Even if you’re scared just do it anyway.”
Reflecting on his own experiences suffering from anxiety, Robbie opened up: “A lot of the time I’m not nervous but when I am it’s debilitating and it’s traumatic. I get on stage and most of the time, Robbie Williams turns up and it’s good and we’re swinging and everything’s great.”
He continued; “And then sometimes I get up and I’ll just tens of thousands of people and I’m there alone, by myself and yeah, it’s traumatic and weird. But it doesn’t happen very often. It used to happen an awful lot but it doesn’t happen a lot these days. It still can do, and yeah, it’s scary. But most of the time now, I’m not scared at all.”