Nearly a year after Zayn Malik revealed he would be leaving One Direction, the singer has announced that he’ll release “Pillowtalk,” his first official single as a solo artist, on January 29th. Additionally, Malik revealed that he would appear on that night’s episode of The Graham Norton Show to discuss the track as well as his forthcoming solo still-untitled album.
Malik left One Direction in March 2015; the now-quartet recorded their recent Made in the A.M. without the singer. “A big part of why I left the band is I made the realization that it wasn’t actually about [being the biggest] anymore,” Malik told The Fader in November in his first interview as a solo artist. “It wasn’t about the amount of tickets sales that I get. It was more about the people that I reach. I want to reach them in the right way, and I want them to believe what I’m saying. I’ve done enough in terms of financial backing for me to live comfortably. I just want to make music now.”
Malik has reportedly spent the past few months in the studio recording with Frank Ocean producer Malay. In The Fader interview, Malik also shaded his former band mates’ output. “That’s not music I would listen to,” he said. “Would you listen to One Direction at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I want to make music that I think is cool shit. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”
The singer was also dismissive of Made in the A.M. in a recent Billboard article, admitting that he hadn’t even listened to it outside the first single.
— zayn (@zaynmalik) January 24, 2016