Zayn Malik was simply ready to live while he was still young.
In fact, as the One Direction alum—who formed the group with bandmates Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson in 2010—recently revealed, he knew the exact moment he needed to step away from the band five years after their debut.
"There was a lot of—look I don't want to go into too much detail, but there was a lot of politics going on," he said during the July 12 episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast. "Certain people were doing certain things, certain people didn't want to sign contracts, so I knew something was happening, so I just got ahead of the curve. I was like, ‘I'm just going to get out of here. I think this is done.'"
As the 30-year-old explained, he was more than ready to take charge of his own career.
"I completely selfishly wanted to be the first person to go and make my own record, if I'm being completely honest with you," the dad to daughter Khai, 2, (with ex Gigi Hadid) said. "I was like, 'I'm going to jump the gun here for the first time.'"
And though he would usually describe himself as "passive," the "Pillowtalk" singer said he's the opposite when it comes to his music.
"I'm serious about it and I'm competitive, so I wanted to be the first to go and do my own thing," he added. "That was the reason—and then there was obviously underlying issues, like within our friendships too."
But that's not all the X Factor alum had to share. Keep reading for all the bombshells from Zayn's rare interview.