Zayn Malik Covers ‘Complex,’ Talks ‘Mind of Mine’ Album, One Direction ‘Authenticity’ Struggle

March 22, 2016

Zayn Malik graces the cover of Complex UK magazine and opens up about his solo album, ‘Mind of Mine’ and about the struggles with authenticity that led him to leave One Direction. It’s an interview with quotes that are going viral even as he’s launching his solo career.

Zayn Malik

The 23-year-old Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction, is on the verge of music superstar status. He’s even has dropped his surname on the album, and is fast becoming our latest mononymous music artist along the lines of Adele and Beyonce. His debut single ‘Pillow Talk’ soared to No. 1 in dozens of countries around the world. After five years as an ensemble player he’s become one of the hottest performers on the planet.

His current girlfriend is model Gigi Hadid, his director and co-star in the racy music video for ‘Pillow Talk,’ but it is not she that he speaks of in the interview with Complex magazine.

Instead, with rare candor, he opens up about his former fiance, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, or at least hinted about the demise of their relationship. He told Complex of the songs, “There’s a lot of falling in love and a lot of falling out of love. It’s probably 60/40, falling out of love.”

He went on to say, “I feel like you get creative with things when you can be honest. If you’re in a really good place, you can write a really good, upbeat song. When you’re in a s–t place you can write a downbeat f—ing ballad! That’s just the way it is.”

He echoes previous comments about honesty and authenticity, dating back to his first interview, after shocking fans last March, when he left One Direction. At the time, he acknowledged the heartbreak of his fans, and 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 the real me.”

In the interview, Zayn Malik also has some pointed words about the One Direction and about how stifled he was felling. He said, “It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it.”

Elaborating, he added, “That was something that was always underlying, and ended up as the main factor of me leaving in the end. That was always there. It was one of the things that wasn’t going to go away, so I had to go away. I was frustrated with the band.”

He also revealed for the first time that while in One Direction, even his physical appearance was constrained so as to conform with the teen idol image. While obviously that made 1D a worldwide phenomenon to say nothing of insanely successful commercially, Zayn Malik reveals it took a toll on him.

He told Complex, “There were certain restrictions in terms of the way that we could come outside of that young teen boy look. Mainly my beard, honestly. I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it, and decided to keep it anyway.”

Continuing, he added, ““That was just because I looked older than the rest of them. That’s one of the things that is now quite cool. I get to keep my beard. I also wanted to dye my hair when I was in the band, but I wasn’t allowed to.”

And, in leaving, it was a courageous act and, for now, is paying off as his solo career is already soaring. That debut single ‘Pillow Talk’ seems to be just the very beginning, as his second single from the album, ‘Like I Would’ is also climbing charts all over the world.

He also revealed the impetus for finding that courage, and leaving the group, saying, “I believe that success follows authenticity. People see through fake s–t. They don’t want to see that; they want a real person. That’s why Kanye is so successful. He’s speaking the truth, regardless of whomever he offends, he isn’t bothered. That’s admirable.”

It’s a lengthy interview, and there’s much more to sift through, and you can see the full interview here and check out Zayn Malik’s Complex UK magazine cover below plus the behind-the-scenes video!

A photo posted by Complex UK (@complex_uk) on

Pictures: PR Photos

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