Zayn Malik on how One Direction worked: 'We were told to be happy'

Malik quit in March after saying he wished to live his life like 'a normal 22-year-old'

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The Independent Culture

Former One Direction member Zayn Malik has revealed some dark truths about life in the world’s biggest boyband and claimed that they were “told to be happy”.

The 22-year-old quit after five years in March, citing the wish for a “normal” life, but has now elaborated on why he chose to leave Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Liam Tomlinson to carry on without him.

“I guess I just wanted to go home from the beginning. I was always thinking it. I just didn’t know when I was going to do it,” he told Fader in his first major solo interview. “Then, by the time I decided to go, it just felt right on that day.”

Malik grew increasingly fed up with what he describes as “no room to experiment creatively in the band”. “If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic  as f**k,” he claimed.

“I just wasn’t convinced with what we were selling. I wasn’t 100 per cent behind the music. It wasn’t me. It was music that was already given to us and we were told ‘This is what is going to sell to these people’. We were told to be happy about something that we weren’t happy about.”

Malik now has a solo contract with RCA Records and hinted that he could team up with Payne, the only ex-bandmate he has spoken to since his departure, to work on new music together. 

“I’m working every day now but I’m working on music that I enjoy,” he said. “Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to.

“I want to make music that I think is cool s**t. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”

Listen to a clip of his new song “Befour” below:

One Direction will be taking a hiatus from March next year after releasing fourth album Made in the AM last Friday.  

Representatives for the band are yet to respond to our request for comment on Zayn’s remarks.