Not going to lie, I knew who One Direction was but was never a huge fan. Then it was the major boy band headline when news broke that Zayn had left the group. My automatic thought was ‘Who the hell is that?’ and it was a memory that I never thought about again. Then months down the road PILLOWTALK was released. As always, when I find out about a newly released single I automatically go to Spotify and press play. Once I heard the single I was blown away. Where had this passionate, soulful voice come from and why had I never heard Zayn Malik sing before today?
Turns out being in a boy band was more of an opportunity that presented itself but was never a true desire of Malik’s. During his time in One Direction, he was not given the creative freedom he’d hoped for, nor was he able to freely express himself through the band’s music or do something as simple as sing a verse the way he wanted to. It even went as far as Malik not being allowed to grow a beard or change the color of his hair, which eventually led to him abruptly quitting the band in 2015 to pursue a solo career.