In the Big in 2016 issue, Zayn chats about venturing away from his boyband days and into a solo career:
“Now that I can really be myself and make music that feels honest to me, it doesn’t feel like work. It really is relaxing to me,” Zayn says. “When I decided to leave, it wasn’t a big build up, it had always been underlying. I never felt like I belonged in the group, I was just doing it because at the time, I felt like it was the right place for me to be.”
When asked if his mysterious, bad boy persona was intentional, Zayn laughs: “To be honest, I mentally and physically distanced myself from what I was doing creatively because I didn’t want any part of it really. It didn’t feel like I was really being me.”
As for staying in touch with his former bandmates, Zayn says: “the truth is I haven’t spoken to any of the boys at all really, I spoke to Liam a bit and that’s just the way it is. I did try to reach out to a couple of people and they didn’t get back to me, but then publicly, when they were asked questions about it, said that they’d spoken to me and that we were friends. But that’s not the case, I tried to reach out and be their friend but they haven’t even replied to any of my calls or texts”.
Zayn adds, “no competition between me and the boys, I didn’t leave for any reasons of animosity, I just wanted to do me”.
“I just want this album to be about me and me standing on my own two feet. I’ve sung with four other voices for over four years now so I want to hear myself, alone for once”.
Be sure to pick up the new issue of L’Uomo Vogue for Zayn’s full feature! He is also celebrating his 23rd birthday today – happy birthday Zayn!