'I wanted to be a normal 22-year-old': Zayn Malik details reasons behind One Direction departure

12 July 2023, 18:57

Zayn left the group after years of success - going on to start a career as a solo artist
Zayn left the group after years of success - going on to start a career as a solo artist. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Singer Zayn Malik has detailed the reasons why he left One Direction - saying he craved a normal life after years in the spotlight.

Malik left the seminal boy band in 2015 - saying he was stressed and wanted a normal life.

On Alex Cooper's podcast 'Call Her Daddy', the singer, 30, revealed that none of his four bandmates had signed on to keep the band together and that he had decided to "jump the gun".

"I was like, 'I'm just going to get out of here, I think this is done'," The Pillowtalk singer said.

Read More: 'No child should experience stigma': One Direction star Zayn Malik calls for free school meals for more children

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One Direction were prolific artists in the years before Malik's departure
One Direction were prolific artists in the years before Malik's departure. Picture: Getty

"I completely selfishly wanted to be the first person to go and make my own record.

"There was obviously underlying issues within our friendships, too.

"We'd got sick of each other if I'm being completely honest."

Malik also opened up about co-parenting with supermodel-ex Gigi Hadid.

"Since I've had my daughter, the main thing in my mind is trying to be a good example to her. I used to get a lot of anxiety around having a conversation like this. And I want her to be able to look at me and be like, 'Yo, my dad's doing this'."

Zayn and Gigi Hadid co-parent their one-year-old - after they split in 2021.
Zayn and Gigi Hadid co-parent their daughter - after they split in 2021. Picture: Getty

Their split made headlines after allegations that Malik had shoved Hadid's mother - later filing a "no contest" please to four counts of harassment which he said was to protect his daughter's privacy.

"I believe I dealt with it in the best way, an amicable, respectful way, and that's all that needs to be said," he said.

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