Zayn Malik on One Direction exit: ‘I think I always kind of wanted to go’

Boy band star turned solo artist spoke to Zane Lowe on Beats 1

Zayn Malik tells Zane Lowe that he “always” wanted to leave One Direction.

The former boyband member’s interview with the DJ will be broadcast on Beats 1 and in video Apple Music at 5pm GMT today (January 28). It is the first time Malik has spoken on camera since he left One Direction. The interview was initially meant to take place on The Graham Norton Show but a scheduled appearance on the BBC show was pulled.

Speaking about his time in One Direction, Malik says he was immediately worried about the music the boyband were making. “I think I always kind of wanted to go. From like the first year really, I never really wanted to be there in the band. I just gave it a go because it was there at the time ,” he says.


This echoes similar statements Malik has made recently, including describing the boy band’s music as “generic as fuck” and claimed he would be embarrassed to play their music around girls.

“When I realised the direction we were going in with the music, I instantly realised it wasn’t for me because I couldn’t put any input in; I couldn’t give my opinion on this or that because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band or what we represented,” he tells Lowe. “So that’s when it became frustrating for me, that’s when I had to be like, I’ve got to start thinking about myself.”


Malik will release new single ‘Pillow Talk’ on Friday (January 29). It is his first single since leaving the boy band. He recently described the song as “dirty and raw” and about sex. “Everybody has sex, and it’s something people want to hear about,” he said.

Malik quit One Direction, who are currently on an extended hiatus, in March 2015 and is now embarking on a solo career. Since his departure he has hinted at tension between himself and other members of the band, saying only Liam Payne has kept in touch with him.

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