Zayn Malik Breaks His Silence About Leaving ‘One Direction’, Reveals Plans to Go Solo

Zayn Malik Quits One Direction
The only direction Zayn Malik is going in is out the door

Yesterday (March 26, 2015), Zayn Malik gave his first interview since announcing he was quitting One Direction. He revealed the reasons behind his decision to leave, and also announced that he’ll be embarking on a solo career.

The 22-year-old told The Sun, “I can’t do this anymore.” And although he admits, his decision was “crazy and wild and a bit mad,” he explained,  “I’ve never felt more in control in my life. I feel like I’m doing what’s right, right by myself and right by the boys.”

In the interview, he slammed rumors that there was tension between him and the other members (Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne), saying that rumor “couldn’t be more wrong”. He additionally added that there is no end in sight for the band itself (who has been together since their creation on X-Factor in 2010), and they’d continue on without him without finding a replacement.

Malik also confessed that his wish to leave the band was a long time coming. He added, “I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness—and that was mainly the fans. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them. And, basically, I’m only upset I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way. That’s the main thing that I don’t want to happen.

“It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not real to me.”

On the band itself, Malik explained,

When I was there as well, we were all…there were no contingencies, do you know what I mean? It was always just everyone kind of doing what we were doing and that’s why it’s been really good for me, because I feel it’s been a bit different to what other bands have broke up by, or when a member’s left or whatever. My band has been really supportive. They’ve been really cool about it. And they understand that, you know, it’s not real to me anymore. They still want to do it for a while, so they’re going to carry on doing what they want to do. And I think they’re doing to do OK for a while. I think they’re going to be cool.

As for what’s next, Malik expressed he wants to spend time being a “normal 22-year-old out of the spotlight,” and “kind of be myself for a bit. I think I’m just going to write and relax and chill.”

However, he wouldn’t comment on the speculation that he would return to the band in the future, saying, “I don’t think I can really answer that, really, but, I don’t know.”

Malik of course has the full support of his fiancée Perrie Edwards, whom some fans have been pointing their finger at for his decision to leave (whether that’s true or not). On the accusations that he cheated on her, Malik commented, “She’s all right, man. She’s a good girl…She’s always supportive, she’s always good, man.” He also clarified that they have not broken off their engagement, despite the fact that she was spotted leaving their home just hours after he returned to the U.K.

BBC also reports that he’s visited a recording studio in west London to work on his solo material with Naughty Boy.