Zayn Malik Breaks His Silence After Quitting One Direction: "I've Never Felt More in Control in My Life"

"I think I'm just going to write and relax and chill," the former boy band singer tells The Sun

By Zach Johnson Mar 27, 2015 11:40 AMTags
Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, One DirectionJamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Zayn Malik didn't stay quiet for long.

One day after the 22-year-old "What Makes You Beautiful" singer announced he had quit One Direction, he opened up to The Sun about his exit and revealed he's already working on solo music. The interview, conducted Thursday, appeared in Friday's edition of the newspaper. "I can't do this anymore," he said.

"I'm feeling quite interesting," Malik told the U.K. publication. "Let's say that."

The past few days were admittedly "crazy and wild and a bit mad," but he's "never felt more in control in my life. And I feel like I'm doing what's right, and right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good."

Malik said he wants to "kind of be myself for a bit. I think I'm just going to write and relax and chill."

So, why did he quit 1D? "I did try to do something that I wasn't happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people's happiness—and that was mainly the fans. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them. And, basically, I'm only upset I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way. That's the main thing that I don't want to happen," he said. "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not real to me."

Malik denied that he was at odds with band members Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles. Addressing the alleged " negativity between us," he said, "They couldn't be more wrong."

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Rather than replace Malik, One Direction plans to soldier on as a quartet.

Malik doesn't imagine anyone else will leave the group. "When I was there as well, we were all...there were no contingencies, do you know what I mean? It was always just everyone kind of doing what we were doing and that's why it's been really good for me, because I feel it's been a bit different to what other bands have broke up by, or when a member's left or whatever," the "Kiss You" singer explained. "My band has been really supportive. They've been really cool about it. And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore. They still want to do it for a while, so they're going to carry on doing what they want to do. And I think they're doing to do OK for a while. I think they're going to be cool."

Might Malik ever return to the band, like Geri Halliwell did nine years after quitting the Spice Girls?

"I don't think I can really answer that, really, but, I don't know," the pop star said.

Prior to quitting One Direction, Malik was accused of cheating on his fiancée, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards. "She's all right, man. She's a good girl," he said, denying the rumors that he was unfaithful.

Edwards, of course, stood by Malik's decision to go solo.

"She's always supportive," the "Night Changes" singer told The Sun. "She's always good, man."

Malik is already working on his new music with music producer Naughty Boy, who has worked with Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith. He's experimenting with new sounds, and he's even trying out rapping.

The singer's departure was announced via One Direction's Facebook page Wednesday. Since then, the remaining four band members have assured fans via Twitter that they support Malik's decision to leave.

Out of the four band members, Payne issued the longest and most heartfelt statement via his Twitter account Thursday. "In light of recent events I think this is important to say. For the past five years now I've been part of something so special I don't think any of us really understand, something that can mean the world to people and put a smile on the face of our fans even in the darkest times. To a lot of people it's just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more. This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst it's something we are all deeply saddened by. It's sad to think for the time being we won't grace the stage as five bros or have the same fun on a tour bus or laughs in a hotel together that we have over the years but I'm super sure us and Zayn will always remain the closest friends," he wrote. "I guess what I'm really trying to say is it's far from over. When we very first became successful we all agreed that One Direction had become much bigger than each individual member. That's why I feel like right now it's OK to be sad and upset but I do ask everyone who is a fan of us to please keep your faith in us I'm sure there's a lot more to come."

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