Simon Cowell: One Direction Was ‘a Nightmare’ Early On

Zayn Malik Says John Lennon Was Huge Influence for ‘Mind of Mine’
When first venturing out on his solo career, Zayn Malik turned to the Beatles for inspiration.

Apparently the former X Factor judge was a bit annoyed with the lads of One Direction not long after discovering them on his talent show.

The media mogul spoke with Billboard recently where he called the boys “a nightmare” at first. “They were like five puppies — really excited, loads of opinions, always wanted to hang out.”

Sound shady? Well, as it happens, Louis Tomlinson agrees with Cowell’s assessment of the five young singers when their careers first began.

“I’m sure we were a nightmare,” Tomlinson told Billboard, laughing. “We were at the height of our immaturity, always running around and being mischievous. There were so many meetings where Simon had to snap us to attention, but he was very patient.”

During Simon’s chat with the mag, he also spoke about Zayn Malik’s departure from the group.

“Zayn is still signed to our company,” Cowell said. “But the boys hadn’t bought into the fact that he was leaving, so out of respect for them, it wasn’t the right thing to put him on Syco.”

Zayn’s solo contract is with RCA, which like Syco (Cowell’s company), is under the Sony umbrella. So Cowell is still deeply invested in the “Pillowtalk” crooner’s career.

Head over to Billboard to read Simon’s full interview.