Zayn Malik Opens up to Beats 1 Radio

Zayn Malik returns to his Bradford home, where he was born and bred before the height of One Direction’s fame, to give an exclusive interview to Beats 1 Radio.

The interview begins with Zayn sharing his emotions on returning home. According to Zayn, he’s been to the “cheeky little stadium” several times as a child to watch a couple games with his granddad.

Zayn confesses that coming home to his family right off the bat was a crucial move for him.

I think it’s massively important for me that I come back here quite frequently because it grounds me as a person and [it] just reminds me of why I started doing what I did and [why I] started making music. It was because of the influences that [surrounded] me while I was here. [I] just wanted to do something that [could] maybe get me out of here.

Lowe gives his condolences to Zayn for the passing of his grandma, who Zayn held very dear. Zayn was very grateful to be home during this period to spend quality time with his family. His “peak of success in the band” is something that Zayn feels very grateful his grandma was able to witness.

Zayn was able to have the chance to share some of his new songs off the album with his grandma. She was very proud, despite the fact that his lyrics may have been too “provocative” for her. Zayn laughs as he remembers her scolding him and suggesting to “take out some of the swear words and replace them with nice words.”

She’s very vocal. She’s a cool woman.

Lowe jokes that maybe Zayn “is going soft” when Zayn shivers and admits he’s chilly. They share a couple laughs before going into the specifics of his new solo career.

The first song we recorded was in Vegas and it’s a song called Befour.

He has written a total amount of 46-47 songs since the take off of his solo career. The revelation must’ve been thrilling for his fans. His new album is titled Mind of Mine and will contain approximately 17-18 songs. The album is completed with just minor touch-ups to make, but other than that, his fans don’t have to wait much longer for a record that is 100% Zayn Malik.

The interview takes a turn as the two men take a trip down memory lane.

Zayn tells Lowe that he originally made the initiative to jump start his music career when he was only 15, but he just “didn’t want to do it” even though the auditions papers were already in his hands. The follow year brought upon a new age limit refrained Zayn from trying out for The X-Factor. When he was finally 17(the fateful year of 2010), Zayn admitted that his mother was the only reason he got out of bed on Audition Day. We are still thankful for Trisha Malik to this day.

“You never know unless you go so…”

Zayn recalls his mother’s words of wisdom on the pivotal morning he tried out for The X-Factor, “She just made me get up.”

Zane Lowe tells Zayn to “look at the timeline” and to “look at the way things started” because everything happened for a reason to get Zayn where he is today. They joke about how Zayn’s rebellion against dancing saved One Direction from becoming a choreographed dance group(that definitely worked out for everyone).

He divulges on the beginning of the career, back when the One Direction boys were still competing for first place on the show.

I just needed time to breathe. You go on that show with your own preconceptions and they’re just gonna blow you out of the water anyway and show you whatever they want…

Once Zayn reveals his true feelings about The X-Factor, he strips himself completely bare with honesty.

I never really wanted to be there in the band… when I realized the direction we were going in – mind the pun – with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me. [I] realized I couldn’t put any input in, [and that] I couldn’t give my opinion on this or that because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band… I just always knew.

He was never comfortable as an individual with One Direction’s music genre, but it became frustrating up to the point where he just couldn’t do it anymore. The song writing process never worked for Zayn, and he felt as if the rest of the 1D boys knew as well.

“I think the boys kind of knew I – in terms of the music – that wasn’t my cup of tea,” Zayn discloses how his ex-bandmates’ reacted to his dissatisfaction, “They knew that. They were aware of that.”

They would try [and] facilitate certain things for me, so I could sing certain R & B ad-libs here and there. And that was nice, but like, obviously I think I always knew that [it just wasn’t possible]…

When I was leaving the band, they obviously didn’t want me to leave, but they couldn’t talk me out of it at the point. I already made my mind up. So I just, I just left.

The moment Zayn made an exit, he hopped on the plane back to Bradford. Although his father first expressed disapproval, Zayn admitted that being back with his family was something he really needed. It helped him cope. His mother, he reveals, relieved a lot of his stress and his doubts.

Almost a year later, Zayn is done with waiting and is ready for his solo career to take off. Today is the “eve of his new single,” as Zane Lowe calls it.

“Pillow Talk” premiers in less than 10 hours. The whole world is talking about Zayn Malik’s first single. His fans are stoked – creating several supportive trends on Twitter – though, a lot of people seem to be against it. Many have expressed their excitement, and many others have expressed their disapproval. However, Zayn makes it clear in his interview that he couldn’t care less about what the haters have to say.

I [made] that. So if you don’t like it, then that’s cool – I mean – I like it. So I don’t really give a f***.

Writing lyrics, he confesses, was a “form of therapy” and that it helped him “get through some s***.” He would like it if it helps his listeners as well.

Zayn goes on to describe the rest of the album to Lowe, going into detail on some tracks such as “She” and “Wrong.” He’s curious as to how touring – if there is touring – for the new album will work, but he’s excited for the new experience despite the fact that it will be “massively different.”

However, Zayn did get defensive with Lowe when Lowe insinuates that Zayn’s past career with One Direction might be “too hard to mesh into who [he] is now.” Zayn is immediately on the fence, claiming:

It isn’t even about that. The whole message about [my own music] is that the two things are very sacred. [One Direction] was amazing. I did that for five years. Enjoyed it. We had some of the best times ever. This is something that is for me. This is the music that I grew up listening to. These are the influences I had. This is what I have to say. And the two things are very sacred. You can listen to [my new music] and still understand that I appreciated that. They are just two completely seperate things.

His times in One Direction may have consisted of regrets, but Zayn Malik is thankful for the start, and he is thankful for the memories. It was sad to see his time in the band end, but now he has a new beginning – this time as his own artist.

We are excited to finally hear Zayn’s new music. We will definitely be staying up for the premiere of “Pillow Talk.” This is the path Zayn Malik has chosen to take, and we wish him and his solo career the best.

Watch Zayn’s interview below and tweet us @CelebMix your thoughts about his new music and career!





Written by Laura Huynh

California gal studying media and entertainment at UC Berkeley. Big fan of music, and big believer in Fate. Feel free to call me, beep me at or @laurahuynh. xx