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Zayn Malik, Zane Lowe

Apple

Is Zayn Malik ready to take the world by storm...on his own? And what's going on between him and Gigi Hadid?!

The 23-year-old singer, who rose to fame as a member of One Direction, will release his debut solo single, "Pillowtalk," Friday, as well as a music video. He is also putting the finishing touching on his first solo album, which is due in March. And his love life appears to be heating up—Malik has been hanging out with 20-year-old Hadid in recent weeks. Neither has confirmed a relationship.

Malik recently spoke about his professional and personal life in an interview with Apple Music's Beats 1, released Thursday, about 10 months after he announced he had left One Direction.

He said the new record is titled Mind of Mine and will likely contain 17 or 18 songs. He mentioned three more tracks by name—"Befour," "Wrong" and "She," which he described as a "party tune" about "just having a good time."

"I don't really go out much. But like, I'm very like phase-based with what I do," Malik said. "So, right now, I'm just like, I'm not on that, so I just, when I have fun I just like, hang around with just a few people that that I know that are friends of mine and we have a drink, whatever."

"And you're in a relationship too, by the sound of it," host Zane Lowe said, without naming names.

"Yeah," Malik replied. "We're good friends."

The track "Wrong," he said, was originally written as a rap and is "all about looking in the wrong place for love." Malik and Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, 22, broke up and ended their two-year engagement last summer.

Malik said that with his first solo record, he wanted to prove "that obviously, I can sing and I have vocal ability...just that I can hold my own, I guess, and write music and talk from my own perspective and explain where I'm coming from."

He also said he eventually plans to go on a solo tour, but nothing has been confirmed.

"We'll see how the music does first," he said. "If there's a demand for it, I'll tour."

During the interview, Malik also said he "never really wanted to be" in One Direction and thought about leaving after a year. The group formed on the reality show The X Factor in 2010 and released their debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful," in September 2011.

He also said he was never interested in "the whole dancing thing" and that it was difficult to write songs with his band mates.

"How do you write a song from five people's perspective?" he said. "You kind of just go with whatever's going on and I just didn't want to be like the person to say that I was right because who am I to say that?"

He said he felt a sense of relief after he left the band and flew home to England. He said he returned to the studio after a couple of months.

"I got itchy feet," he said. "I was used to working all the time."

"It feels great to be able to just do whatever and take the responsibility myself," he added.