One Direction fans (aka “Directioners”) faced serious heartbreak last year after Zayn Malik, 22 at the time, announced his departure from the group. That heartbreak has since been mended with the recent launch of Malik’s new solo career.
Yes, it is true; Malik, who now simply goes by Zayn, follows in the footsteps of Justin Timberlake, Beyoncè, and even Nick Jonas, who all separated from their original groups to pursue their own projects. He’s doing a pretty good job thus far, too.
His newest single “PILLOWTALK” dropped on January 29 and immediately blew listeners away. It is very different from Malik’s older music with One Direction, as the vibes are darker and more electronic. However, it surpasses all expectations. The lyrical content of the song is more mature as well, which is arguably one of the reasons Malik wanted to break away from the band in the first place.
Malik also released a video for “PILLOWTALK” on the same day. It features lots of questionable symbolism and model Gigi Hadid, Malik’s girlfriend. Admittedly, the video is not nearly as good as the song itself, but it is nice to see Malik taking control of his career and exercising his creativity.
“PILLOWTALK” is just the beginning for Malik. He is set to release a full fledged album, Mind of Mine, on March 25, which coincidentally marks the one year anniversary of his leaving One Direction–an arguably petty move, to say the least.
However, in the months following Malik’s separation from One Direction, the boy-band embarked on a hiatus from music. It may not be an official split, but if patterns are consistent, there could be more solo projects from other members of the band in the future.