In both situations, we felt the shake of surprise alongside the immediate wonder over what the future will hold. We couldn't help but question how it all went down and whether both bands could continue as a foursome, but even more so, whether both Zayn and Camila would find success on their own.
Now, in the month-and-a-half following her departure from 5H, we've realized there's a lot more in common between Camila and Zayn's solo career strategies than just their exits.
See the proof below...
Their Official Exit Statements: Both paid tribute to their former bandmates, thanked fans and explained the reason behind their departure.
Zayn: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologize to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart." After saying Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson will be "four friends for life," Malik added, "I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
Camila: "It's been almost five years and the most important chapter of my life this far. I am so proud of everything we've achieved together as a group and will always be proud of being a part of it," she said in a statement on Instagram. "You took five ordinary girls and made their dreams come true...The memories we've made together will last a lifetime. Now I gotta walk the walk. I have always encouraged you to be fearless, to live your life in the name of love and to do what makes you happy. And scary as it is to take the leap, I am excited and full of joy because I know that no matter what happens, I am following my heart. I hope to see you on my journey."
They've Both Explained the Importance in a Sense of Individuality: Ultimately, the explanation they both gave for leaving their bands was to focus on their individual style and taste in music and to openly express their true selves.
Zayn: While signing with RCA Record Zayn tweeted, "I guess I never explained why I left. It was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am! #RealMusic #RCA."
Before that, he had expressed similar sentiments, saying, "It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it. That was always there. It was one of the things that wasn't going to go away, so I had to go away."
Camila: In an interview with Seventeen, she said, "Fifth Harmony wasn't the maximum expression of me individually. My fans are really going to know me from the music I'm writing. My goal is to be brave and open up my soul."
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They Both Admitted They Always Knew They'd End Up Leaving: Zayn and Camila both admitted that they'd never really felt comfortable with their bands.
Zayn: "I think I always wanted to go, from like the first year, really. I never really wanted to be there, like in the band," he admitted. "I just gave it a go because it was there at the time, and when I realized the direction we were going in—mind the pun—with the music, I instantly realized it wasn't for me, because I realized I couldn't put any input in."
Camila: "I was always super open [that] I couldn't just sing other people's words and be totally happy with that," she told Billboard.
And They Said Their Bandmates Knew, Too: They were both vocal about their solo desires.
Zayn: "I think the boys knew, in terms of the music, that wasn't my cup of tea. You know what I mean? They were aware of that," he confessed. "They were trying to facilitate certain things for me so that I could sing certain R&B ad libs here and there, and that was nice, but obviously, I think they always knew that. It wasn't something they had to figure out. It was always there."
Camila: In her exit statement, the singer explained her departure wasn't a surprise to the 5H girls, revealing, "The girls were aware of my feelings through the long, much needed conversations about the future that we had during tour."
She even admitted that those conversations caused some problems. "I think that in a group there is always going to be tension, whether it's because of this thing or [another] thing," she said. "Obviously, I think [my desire to go solo] rocked the boat."
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Both Revealed They've Tried to Contact Their Former Bandmates: To no avail.
Zayn: "I tried to have contact but nobody's reached out," he said. "So…whatever."
Camila: When Billboard asked if she's spoken to the remaining four girls of 5H, she simply answered, "No," before revealing she did attempt to reach out. "I did, yeah. I don't want to get into the details of that, because it was really intense and it's hard for me to talk about. It makes me sad."
But They Still Send Their Best Wishes: And congratulate them on new songs and projects.
Zayn: After "Drag Me Down" was released, Malik tweeted, "Proud of my boys the new single is sick. Big love. :) x"
Camila: The songstress vocalized similar sentiments, saying, "I'll continue to wish them all the best, and I'm happy they are continuing their journey as Fifth Harmony. I'm also looking forward to hearing new music from the group and their solo endeavors."
They've Both Expressed a Feeling of Freedom, No Matter the Backlash: Zayn and Camila both feel like they've shed their shackles.
Zayn: "I didn't feel good [in 1D]. Do you know what I mean? And if you don't feel good…You need to be able to express what it is that you are. I'm free at last," he said in an interview.
Camila: "I mean, [we were] at the peak of our career. It's definitely not the safe option," she said of her decision to leave. "I have it in my DNA. The way my mom raised me, it has always been: Don't settle. Jump and hope you grow wings on the way down."
As she threw her arms in the air, she added, "I feel alive!"