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Zayn Malik, NME Magazine

Nabil/NME

Zayn Malik will hit the year anniversary of his departure from One Direction in just a few days, but he admits things still aren't totally cool between him and his former band mates.

The 23-year-old pop star covers the latest issue of NME magazine and opens up about his life after leaving the group.

"You can be in the eye of it if you choose to be. Or you can let it overwhelm you," he says of the storm that followed his departure.

Zayn Malik, NME Magazine

Nabil/NME

He's learned not to take anything too personally, including the fact that he's barely spoken to any of the 1D members in a year.

"I tried to have contact but nobody's reached out," he said. "So…whatever."

However, he has chatted a bit with Liam Payne lately, though the last time they actually saw one another was before Zayn left the band.

"I'm still probably the closest to Liam," he explained. "We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single, which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award. It was a good chat. We haven't met up in a long time so we want to meet up."

Zayn Malik, NME Magazine

Nabil/NME

Of course, that would be followed by a ton of media—a fake reality Zayn had to come to grips with at an early age.

"See, I've kept a little bit of my sanity. I understand how the media works. Journos gotta earn their money. Paps have got to earn their money," he revealed. "I think that's why it came across as [me] being mysterious or detached. I just didn't want to get caught up in something that wasn't real. You can be the biggest band in the world for a certain time, but that ends."

Is that what he feels he did by leaving One Direction? "I'm not saying that," he quips. "But if I did then f--k me, I've got a great brain."

See his full interview with NME here.