“We did crazy things together that no one in the world would understand. They were wonderful experiences, I had wonderful times with them, but it also came to an end.”
This is how Zayn Malik, former member of the ever-popular music group, One Direction, told Alex Cooper, presenter of the podcast series, his decision at the time to leave the group. Call her daddy, described. On Wednesday’s episode, it was the first time in six years that this British singer talked about his life and career.
“I still don’t really get it,” Zayn said of the group’s stardom.
“It was fun, repeated fun, and finally it took its toll.”
Internal politics, his need to start a solo career and his feeling that it would not be long before the group would part ways led to his decision to leave the group.
“Some people did certain things, some people didn’t want to sign contracts. I knew that something was happening. I just planned ahead. I thought, ‘I’m going to get out of here, I think this is over now.’
“Out of pure selfishness, I wanted to be the first to release my own album.”
Zayn initially rose to fame in 2010 after participating in the talent show, X Factor UK. There, Simon Cowell chose him to form a men’s group, One Direction, together with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne. Although the group achieved third place in the competition, it was the catalyst for the group’s world fame.
In the years following the competition, the group released five albums, went on numerous world tours and earned billions of pounds.
In 2015, shortly before the group performed in South Africa, Zayn announced that he would be parting ways with the popular group. After their fifth member’s departure, the group released their fifth and final album, Made in the AMissued and announced in January 2016 that they were going on an indefinite hiatus.
Zayn also poured out his heart for the first time about his long-term relationship with model Gigi Hadid, his daughter and how these two tackle parenthood now that they have also parted ways.
This couple announced in 2015 that they were romantically linked and welcomed a little girl, Khai, in 2020. The couple broke up in 2021, shortly after Zayn and Gigi’s mother, Yolanda, got involved in a fight that led to police intervention.
At the time, Zayn was accused of “harassing” them and of communicating with Yolanda in a “threatening” and “obscene” manner. After the incident, Zayn simply said in a statement that his biggest priority is his little girl’s privacy.
“I knew what happened, and the people involved know what happened. That’s all I care about. I didn’t want to draw any attention to the situation,” Zayn said in the recent interview.
“I didn’t try to get involved in an argument with her (Yolanda). One day my little daughter is going to read this negative narrative and there was no point in it.”
Gigi and Zayn have shared custody of Khai these days, and Zayn describes himself as an involved father who “would take 60% custody if he could”.
“When I’m with her (Khai), I don’t work at all. We just do what she wants to do. She brings out the child in me again.
“It feels as if we as adults are getting to a point where everything is grey, and she has put color in my life again.”