It seems like the world has been anxiously anticipating Zayn Malik’s solo debut since July when he officially signed with RCA Records, wondering what his solo music would sound like, what type of vibes it would have. On February 17th with Jimmy Fallon, the world got a taste of Zayn – solo artist, first time in the spotlight – and it was more than we hoped for.
Before Zayn took the stage, Jimmy Fallon revealed his album cover for Mind of Mine and we’re sort of obsessed with it!
Fans originally assumed that Zayn would be singing Pillowtalk, but he surprised fans with a new track It’s You – and it was mind-blowing. We still haven’t picked our jaws up off the floor.
The song was smooth, sexy, and full of high notes, falsettos, and moments that make your knees absolutely weak. The lyrics are open and honest “she got her own reasons for talking to me, she don’t give a f-ck about what I need” and “tell me your lies because I just can’t face it” its clear that the song is about desire that spans beyond what your brain tells you is right or wrong. Zayn sings with emotion, passion, and power about someone being everything – it’s you, his voice runs, and you feel it.
While for some, it was strange to finally see Zayn on stage alone, spotlight directly on him, for Zayn it was something he worked for and made hard decisions to get to – it was freedom.
When Zayn left One Direction, fans were broken hearted – simply put – it was devastating. What was more painful, perhaps, than his departure from the band, was the friendships he left behind and the fans who never truly got an answer as to why. While an official statement was posted on Facebook, it seemed to be more of a politically correct message than the truth. It turns out, fans were right with that assumption.
Zayn began embracing his solo career and doing some interviews before the release of his single Pillowtalk and album which was recently given a release date – March 25th (the same day he left One Direction). In those interviews, he said that the music wasn’t really his style all along, but that the lads tried to accommodate him and help bring his twist to their music. He also said something fans have believed all along – that not only were they overworked as a band, they were told what to say, what not to say, and how to portray themselves in order to reach their demographic fan base.
Zayn’s facial expressions as he openly discussed the lads trying to help him, and the sound of his voice when he talked about how he’d been ready to leave and what it took for him to finally do it – both showed pain. In interviews, specifically the one with Billboard Magazine, where Zayn said One Direction was “like a fu—– machine going constantly” it’s clear that he did what he felt was right for himself, what he had to do to survive.
If you take that into consideration and watch his performance on Jimmy Fallon again, you’ll see Zayn – solo artist debuting his own music, his own style, and his own heart; you’ll see hard work that paid off and a sense of pride in his craft. If you look really closely at Zayn’s performance, you’ll see something else too, a survivor.