The wait for Zayn Malik’s solo career is officially winding down and down and down. On Sunday (Jan. 25), the former One Direction singer revealed his first single “Pillowtalk” will arrive this Friday. In a truly generous move, he paired the announcement with the single’s cover art: a black-and-white photo of him rocking plenty of jewelry but not a lot of clothes. (Guess Gigi Hadid still hasn’t given him his shirt back.)
— zayn (@zaynmalik) January 24, 2016
It was only a matter of time before the 23-year-old unleashed his new music on the world — he signed his own record deal last July and teased a song called “Befour” in November. And yet, the news of “Pillowtalk’s” impending arrival makes everything seem capital-O Official, giving us something concrete to look forward to.
Needless to say, everyone’s wondering what to expect from “Pillowtalk.” Sonically, we’re expecting to hear something edgier and more R&B-flavored than One Direction’s pop/rock sound, because Zayn’s dismissed his former band’s music as “generic as f–k” and has said he’s working with Frank Ocean producer Malay. But what about lyrically and thematically? Well, according to Zayn, you should pretty much just expect to hear about sex.
In a new interview with Sunday Times Culture magazine, Zayn described “Pillowtalk” as “so pure, so dirty and raw,” adding that he’s not sugarcoating the track’s sexual theme.
“I think I’m pretty black and white about what it’s about,” he said. “Everybody has sex, and it’s something people want to hear about. It’s part of everybody’s life, a very big part of life! And you don’t want to sweep it under the carpet. It has to be talked about.”
— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) January 22, 2016
It’s hardly surprising that Zayn wants to focus on more mature themes for his own music. Keeping in mind that they didn’t want to alienate their younger fans, One Direction were never really able to sing explicitly about sex — even when it was surely something important in the guys’ personal lives. Zayn probably has a lot of pent-up feelings he’s been dying to sing about… so watch out, world.
Elsewhere in his Sunday Times interview, Zayn admitted he wouldn’t rule out a One Direction reunion.
“Who knows?… I don’t know,” he said. “If the time was right and that was the thing to do, then I would make that decision when it came around.”
He also added there’s “no beef” between him and his former bandmates, which is super relieving after all the (kinda shocking) things he said about them in his Billboard interview earlier this month. Say what you will about Z, but he always keeps us on our toes — and his new music’s primed to do the same.