10 Things We Learn from Zayn Malik’s Dazed Interview

After leaving One Direction in March 25, 2015, we thought we had seen the end of Zayn Malik. But exactly one year after departing the world’s biggest boy band, the 23-year-old debuted solo album Mind of Mine, the landmark that became the first record by a male singer to top both US and UK charts. His “Pillowtalk” video received over 500 million views on YouTube, earning the title as the fastest-selling single of 2016. Most recently, Zayn has boasted his resurgence on the cover of this summer’s issue of Dazed Magazine. Here are ten things we learn from his interview with Patrik Sandberg.

1. Even under all the spotlight, Zayn is not actually a social butterfly.

“I don’t tend to go out much,” says Zayn. “I stick to my own bubble, as it is. Creatively and socially, I think, as I’m getting older, that’s just the way I am.”

©Mirror UK
©Mirror UK

Currently his “bubble” is made up of model girlfriend Gigi Hadid and her much-talked-about squad of socialites.

2. He turned to Taylor Swift before releasing Mind Of Mine.

“I don’t get much feedback from my peers. I spoke a bit to Taylor,” he reveals. “At Gigi’s house we briefly spoke and she told me she really enjoyed the album. It was nice to get some feedback. She said she thought I was cool and I kind of blushed a bit and didn’t know how to take it.”


3. He hasn’t adjusted to the opulent lifestyle that comes with the job.

“I haven’t done much acclimatin’,” Zayn explains. “I’m just staying the way that I am. I think that’s the best way to keep your sanity. You’ve got to hold on to what you are and not let things get to your head, because if you do, that’s when everything comes crashing down terribly.”

Zayn Malik Dazed 1
©Collier Schorr/Dazed Magazine

4. He is a longtime fan of late rock legend Prince.


“A lot of starting references for me are technology and Prince. I was really upset with the fact that he passed away. But it’s nice that we can use things now to portray what inspired us about him.”

5. Prince was more than Zayn Malik’s musical inspiration – he’s also his style icon.

“Prince created another world with the clothes he wore, and it gave him an otherworldly feel, which is all part of his legend. That was kind of what I was doing at the Met Ball… being fearless.”

©Jamie McCarthy/Getty
©Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Winter Soldier’s metal arms? “Fearless” is accurate.

6. Although he was born and raised in Bradford, a city in northern England, Zayn still maintains a strong connection to his Pakistani roots, using his Urdu and Arabic skills as a guiding interest in his music.

“I can’t understand what Arabic means, but I can read it,” he admits. “I was taught to read it because I read the Islamic books and they’re in Arabic, but I couldn’t understand what I was saying. I have always liked poetry. I have always liked language and the way you can say a certain thing in a certain way and it can be perceived so differently by whoever is listening, because of whatever time they are at in their life. ”

©Dazed Magazine
©Collier Schorr/Dazed Magazine

7. His song “fLoWer” is actually a personal blend of Qawwali vocals and traditional Sufi music, with lyrics written in Urdu, a testament to his cross-cultural heritage.

“It’s called Sufi,” he explains. “It’s a religious style of music that’s like a deep meditation prayer where you just sit and sing the same melody over and over – it’s meant to get you into a trance state.”

“I just mixed my Urdu speaking with lyrics I was writing down in English and that’s what I came up with,” he adds. In English, the lyrics translate to: “Until the flower of this love has blossomed / This heart won’t be at peace / Give me your heart / Give me your heart / Give me your heart.”

“I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels good to sing that way,” he says.

8. Despite being under attack on social media for his ethnicity, he never lets it get to him.

The singer was recently accused of plagiarism by rapper Azealia Banks after the release of “Like I Would” video. Banks ranted and repeatedly slighted Zayn on Twitter with terms like “sand nigger”, “faggot” and “curry-scented bitch.” She went as far as to referring to his mother as a “dirty refugee.”

But Zayn steers clear of the racist comments, maintaining pride for his multi-cultural heritage: “My mum is half Irish and English and my dad is Pakistani but born in the UK. So, yeah, that’s my heritage, and that’s what makes me, me.”

giphy (1)

9. It’d be a dream-come-true for him to work with Drake, Rihanna and The Weeknd.

As obvious as his answer sounds, he hinted there were a couple of awesome guests in the books already.


10. His surprise collaborators may or may not be Drake or Rihanna but he’s gonna continue to work, work, work, work, work.

“I’m just trying to do more and more,” he says. “I’m excited to get more involved in every way that I can. Whether it’s producing or the creative for my stage direction, I just want to get down to every detail. That’s my progression, learning my craft as a solo artist.”

“I’m kind of itching a little bit,” he continues. “I want to work. I’ve learned over four or five years that it’s good to work because you’re earning, not spending.”

Preach, brother.

©Collier Schorr/Dazed Magazine

Read Zayn Malik’s full interview here.





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