Zayn Malik Talks To ‘Complex’ About Denying Who He Was In One Direction And Getting To Grow Out His Beard

Zayn Parties In Hollywood
He is really living his dream right now!
In case you’ve somehow forgotten that it’s happening, Zayn Malik’s first solo album, Mind of Mine, will be released to the world on Friday, March 25th. (One year to the day when he announced he was leaving One Direction.)

Ahead of the album’s release, Zayn (don’t forget, he’s just Zayn now) covers the latest issue of Complex where he talks more about what life was like as part of One Direction.

As he’s mentioned before, he wasn’t able to be himself. 

As he explains it, he struggled with authenticity in the group. “That was something that was always underlying, and ended up as the main factor of me leaving in the end. It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it. That was always there. It was one of the things that wasn’t going to go away, so I had to go away.”

Zayn Malik for 'Complex'

And if you’ve noticed that Zayn’s person has started to look different since leaving One Direction, that’s deliberate, too. Because there were certain restrictions on what he was allowed to do. “Mainly my beard, honestly. I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it, and decided to keep it anyway. That was just because I looked older than the rest of them. That’s one of the things that is now quite cool. I get to keep my beard. I also wanted to dye my hair when I was in the band, but I wasn’t allowed to.”

While I am happy that Zayn is able to go off into the world and do his own thing, it doesn’t feel like he’s constantly shitting on his past with One Direction, right? I think he tries to be nice about it, but to me it comes off as “I’m better than then because I’m doing my own, real thing.” Although, I could be reading too much into it.

Zayn Malik for 'Complex'

In other Zayn news, he did speak briefly about his relationship with Gigi Hadid. “I try to keep the two very separate. I try to, as much as I can. But there’s only so much you can do. I’m learning to deal with it. It’s just one of those things now, in the background. I just leave it as a bit of a noise in the background.” So wait, is that why you put her in your video?

Sorry, I feel like I’m being too mean. You know what Zayn, you go ahead and be whoever it is you need to be. I will listen to Mind of Mine when it drops on Friday. I’m hoping I enjoy it. You should check out the rest of Zayn’s interview with Complex here. It’s a very interesting read.