Without a solo album out, Zayn Malik is garnering a lot of attention. Of course, that's what you get when you leave the biggest boy band in the world.
After signing a contract with RCA and recording music sans Liam, Louis, Niall and Harry, Zayn's making the press rounds -- first hitting the cover of Fader, and on Thursday (Jan. 7), he landed a Billboard feature. He talks about chilling out after leaving the band, going home and learning to cook his mom's dishes. He also discusses his love for "chunky" girls.
But One Direction fans have a lot to scoop out of this pumpkin -- he explains more on why he left the band and how he's enjoying life in the aftermath of the split.
Here's 13 tidbits about One Direction that we pulled from Zayn's Billboard cover story:
'I guess certain phone numbers have changed'
“The truth of it is... you can think one thing about a situation and the total opposite can happen. I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, but I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”
When asked about what he's gained from 1d:
“Status. The capability to restrain certain things I would want to do. I also learned it’s good to keep friends. Because you don’t know when you’re going to make new ones, so you should probably just keep the old ones.”
'I can push myself through situations I might not necessarily want to do'Getty Images
“I’m incredibly disciplined. I realized I can push myself through situations I might not necessarily want to do, but can overcome by being in the moment. No matter what, I can smile and do whatever I got to do.”
'People are more intelligent than that.'Getty Images
“We weren’t allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to. I’d sit and wonder, ‘If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?’ My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what’s real, so why don’t we write some stuff that we’re actually going through?”
'There’s nothing any fan girl could’ve ever taught me about any woman'Elena Aquila/Pacific Press/LightRocket
The interviewer asks if fans have taught him anything about the fangirl struggle:
“I was raised by a lot of women, so there’s nothing any fan girl could’ve ever taught me about any woman,” he says. “I fully understood every person who’d come and see the band, because I have crazy aunties and crazy sisters who would fan-girl over actors. If people can’t have something, they want it.”
'I want to do it now'Getty Images
“It’s a bit different now because they’re there for just me,” he says. “I can’t jump in a car and be like, ‘Yeah! Just take a picture with one of them boys.’ I want to do it now.”
'I’m not censoring myself anymore'Getty Images
“I’ll come down here and record maybe seven songs a night... That’s because I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’m not censoring myself anymore, so I’m not tired. I love it.”
'Yeah, I didn’t buy the album'Syco
“Nah... I’ll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool. I heard the second single and... yeah, I didn’t buy the album.”
Liam Payne 'would always give me credit in terms of vocal ability'Tumblr
'My fans are giving me sh-t every day'
“My fans are giving me shi-- every day... Like, ‘Where the f--k is your music? You’ve been at it for months. Give us something.’"
'I genuinely enjoyed [the band]'Yui Mok - WPA Pool /Getty Images
"I genuinely enjoyed [the band] and did whatever I could to be myself within that, but it’s just not where I sit as a musician."
'It’s good music, but I don’t f--k with it.'@xfactor/ Twitter
“The other boys’ taste was generally indie rock. It’s good music, but I don’t f--- with it. That was never cool where I was from.”
'There are no sides to pick'Getty Images
'There are no sides to pick... We’re not going head-to-head.”