The former One Direction singer quit the hugely popular boyband last March to write songs in his preferred r‘n’b style and it’s safe to say the new track’s lyrics are more explicit than many fans will be expecting.
“In your bed all day, f**king you and fighting on, it’s our paradise and it’s our war zone,” Malik sings, accompanied by kaleidoscopic graphics and naked boxing women covered in black grease.
The 23-year-old, now going by the stage name ZAYN, sings about “a place that is so pure, so dirty and raw” in the overtly sexual video.
One shot sees a woman spreading her legs only for a pink flower to burst open, while there is plenty of steamy kissing going on.
“I think I’m pretty black and white about what it’s about. Everybody has sex and it’s something people want to hear about,” he told the Sunday Times Culture magazine.
“It’s part of everybody’s life, a very big part of life! You don’t want to sweep it under the carpet. It has to be talked about.”
Zayn Malik's 'Pillowtalk' music video
Filmmaker Bouha Kazmi directed the video, after also working on Jay Z’s “Onto the Next One”.
Directioners have been reacting excitedly on social media, with some claiming to have been “zlessed” by the song:
I have no words for #pillowtalk except that it will be on replay for a good while until I get tired of it or something new gets released.— yasmin✿ (@euphoricyaz) January 29, 2016
it's a paradise and it's a warzone #PillowTalk— kaka // PillowTalk (@zayngelicvoize) January 29, 2016
Yeah, so #PillowTalk ain't bad I guess. Damn raunchy though, Zayn you cheeky monkey.— Amy West (@TV_amyy) January 29, 2016
ZAYN combined many of his passions into this one video! His love for music,art,writing is all showcased! Couldn't be happier #PillowTalk— Jacobdaily3 (@JacobDaily3) January 29, 2016
THIS is the real zayn. a singer, songwriter, director and etc. this talented and creative boy from bradford. GOD HE IS A GENIUS #PillowTalk— zeeshan alam (@saiyedzee) January 29, 2016
But naturally, not everybody was convinced...
Don't get me wrong, I love #PillowTalk, however cut out the swearing / a couple of the raunchier lyrics and it could 100% still be a 1D song— Suzy ♔ (@suzycamlin) January 29, 2016
Hmmm. Not sure about Zayn's new single #PillowTalk. Maybe a grower?— Chloe Richardson (@ChloRichardson) January 29, 2016
Just listened to zayn maliks first single as an solo artist and man that song is so awful! #PillowTalk— Cortel Banks (@cortelbanks97) January 29, 2016
“Pillowtalk” is the first song from Malik’s upcoming album Mind of Mine, due for release in March.
He told Zane Lowe during a Beats 1 interview on Wednesday that One Direction’s music was never his “cup of tea”.
“I always wanted to go from the first year really,” he said. “I never really wanted to be in the band. I just gave it a go because it was there at the time.”