In his first extensive interview since leaving the world’s most popular boy band, ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik talked to The Fader about his solo career.
In the magazine’s cover story, he said he left the band because of musical differences, and that the music he’s making now is radically different from One Direction’s “generic” pop.
“There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band,” he told the magazine. “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***, so they could use that version.”
In the past few months, Zayn has started working with Malay, the R&B producer behind Frank Ocean’s critically acclaimed album “Channel Orange.” He says his new album, expected to be released in 2016, will be somewhat experimental, with R&B, reggae, and even rock influences — all of which sounds far from the music that made One Direction so famous.
He also said he doesn’t mind if his new album isn’t as successful as his past work.
“I’ve got enough. I don’t need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied,” he said.
Story by Tony Manfred and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss
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