Sure, Niall and Zayn departed One Direction under completely different circumstances—one quit early, leaving fans and band members in the lurch, while the other went his own way after a band-decided hiatus—but that shouldn't affect how they present their new music to the world.
Or should it?
Zayn's sudden leaving left a bad taste in Directioners' mouths, and based on post-split interviews, it's safe to say the Mind of Mine singer didn't leave his bandmates on a great note, either. But did that betrayal create even more hype for Zayn's first album? Probably.
Looking back, Zayn barely did any publicity for his first solo album. He gave a few interviews to magazines such as Fader and Billboard, but he didn't appear on any talk shows to promote his work except for The Tonight Show, in which he was the musical guest—no interview in sight. In fact, Zayn was scheduled to appear on The Graham Norton Show last January but unexpectedly cancelled.
"Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts with recording commitments, Zayn's appearance on Graham Norton has been postponed," a statement from Zayn's rep said. "Zayn has confirmed that he would love to appear on the show at a later date."
He didn't reschedule.
Zayn's print interviews made sure to mention his bad blood with the 1D members and his split from former fiancée Perrie Edwards, but, perhaps more importantly, always discussed how he felt more "free" with his music after cutting ties.
"[The band and I] weren't allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to," Malik told Billboard. "I'd sit and wonder, 'If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?' My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what's real, so why don't we write some stuff that we're actually going through?"
He added, "I genuinely enjoyed [the band] and did whatever I could to be myself within that, but it's just not where I sit as a musician. The other boys' taste was generally indie rock. It's good music, but I don't f--k with it. That was never cool where I was from."
As passionate as he was about creating his own music, Zayn would go on to cancel several performances. But that didn't stop fans from anxiously waiting for his first singles, which include "Pillowtalk," "Like I Would" and "BeFoUr."
The music was definitely different from anything 1D released and even included girlfriend Gigi Hadid, so fans had plenty to chat about even without all the promotion.
Niall, however, has proven to be taking a different course of action.
The Irish crooner released "This Town" at the end of September and has been promoting it as if he had a new movie lined up. Niall has hit all the major talk shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Today and The Late Late Show. He's subtly suggested that he still has feelings for ex-girlfriend Ellie Goulding thanks to James Corden's and Ellen DeGeneres' tricky games; he's gushed about Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson; and he's done a spectacular job of performing his song live.
Niall also appeared on The Graham Norton Show, which, as we know, Zayn cancelled. "For now we are doing our own thing," Horan shared of his 1D mates.
"We can't put a date on it but it won't be in fifty years time. It's in the foreseeable future. We've talked about it but for now we'll just play by ear and see what happens."
Niall has basically rocked his publicity tour, proving that he seems as fun and adorable as we all thought he was. At this point, however, whose music have we spent more time talking about in our everyday lives?
Maybe it's because Zayn has released more music than Niall, or maybe it's because by doing hardly any publicity Zayn has made the focus his music. Regardless, we're talking. And that's all that matters.