Zayn Malik was destined for superstardom—even if that wasn't necessarily his goal.
E! News was given an exclusive first look at the "Still Got Time" singer on the cover of VMAN 38. Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh, the 24-year-old pop star admits to the magazine that he's been curious about what his life might have looked like had he not become a member of One Direction. "I think about alternative realities. I think I'd be at university and I would have done my English degree. I think I'd be looking for some employment to do with English lecturing or literature," Malik says. "I love poetry and writing—obviously, I'm a songwriter—so, it would've been something that would still give me the feeling of a creative outlet within my writing."
Malik quit One Direction in 2015 and released his debut solo album a year later. Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson soldiered on as a quartet, but the boy band has since gone on indefinite hiatus to pursue solo projects. As Malik puts the finishing touches on his second album (release date TBD), he's been reflecting on his decision to go out on his own.