Thoughts on Zayn Malik

By Christina Yacono

Zayn Malik performing with One Direction in Chile in 2014. (Javierosh/Flickr)
Zayn Malik performing with One Direction in Chile in 2014. (Javierosh/Flickr)

I received a text in the middle of my class on Wednesday afternoon that screamed at me in all caps, “ZAYN QUIT ONE DIRECTION.”

Shock, devastation, and confusion was mixed within me. Mainly the question of why would Zayn leave, especially before finishing the last few dates of the tour?

One Direction broke news of Zayn’s departure on their Facebook page in which Zayn states, “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

This was a simple and yet reasonable explanation that I could accept.

However, the break up is not as clean or a clear-cut story as it first seemed as more news reports came popping up. If anything, Zayn’s departure was a poorly executed but a calculated move by the management team and other affiliated parties.

Malik left the On the Road Again tour a week prior to the news of his leaving of the band; it was cited due to stress. Around this same timeframe, there were allegations made against Malik about cheating on his fiancée, Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, which he denied. It would seem reasonable of him to take a break in a circumstance like this.

After the Facebook announcement on the 25th, British tabloid newspaper, The Sun, released the first exclusive interview on the 27th.

In this interview, he states, “You know, I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness.”

It then takes a turn from this unhappiness of being in the spotlight to how he is starting his solo career and has been working with song producer Naughty Boy.

As The Sun states, “Bookies are already taking bets on him having a solo hit and he is 4/5 to achieve a UK No1 in 2015.

What the management team had led us to believe was that the stress was too much, suddenly he’s been been working on his solo career.

Fans that were once sympathizing and understanding of his situation are now receiving the message that Zayn outgrew his time with One Direction and is looking for his own claim to fame. This paints a terrible picture of Zayn and his intentions.

In September of 2013, One Direction renewed their contract with their record label SyCo for three more albums. Which means that Zayn would not have been able to quit without violating their contract. Zayn is only able to quit because he most likely signed a different contract with SyCo to produce at least two albums under them.

My main points to this article is this: not everything is straightforward and honest as it seems, especially with the media. It’s hard to completely understand a situation when not all the facts are being presented.

Zayn probably has been unhappy in One Direction quite some time, as seen by his lack of lyrical input in the band’s songs and some of his answers to interview questions. And the reasons to quit the hectic lifestyle of being in a internationally famous boyband is understandable as well.

All in all, I think Zayn made a difficult decision, but one that made him happier and that’s what matters. The best way to go from here is to give One Direction the same support even though Zayn isn’t in the band. The other four boys are still in it for the long haul, and they’re going to keep making music and doing concerts. It may take time to heal these wounds, but the best we can do is support One Direction and Zayn so they do what makes them both happy.

Christina Yacono can be reached at [email protected]