Zayn Malik Talks Being a Hollywood Recluse and Asking Taylor Swift for Feedback

The former boy bander is still finding his place in Hollywood. 

Zayn Malik, who recently released his debut solo album Mind of Mind, sat down with Dazed to talk about finding his way in Hollywood for the first time by himself. It turns out, despite more than four years as a member of one of the most popular boy bands in the world, Malik still feels like a regular guy from London.

“I haven’t done much acclimatin’,” he says of his time in Hollywood. “I’m just staying the way that I am. I think that’s the best way to keep your sanity. You’ve got to hold on to what you are and not let things get to your head, because if you do, that’s when everything comes crashing down terribly.”

How has the singer avoided “acclimatin'”? He keeps his circle as small as possible. “I don’t tend to go out much,” he admitted. “I stick to my own bubble, as it is. Creatively and socially, I think, as I’m getting older, that’s just the way I am.”

While his circle may be small, it is filled with some pretty big names including girlfriend Gigi Hadid who just happens to be best friends with Taylor Swift. Zayn recalled the time the pop star told him she enjoyed his album.

“I don’t get much feedback from my peers. I spoke a bit to Taylor,” he revealed. “At Gigi’s house we briefly spoke and she told me she really enjoyed the album. It was nice to get some feedback. She said she thought I was cool and I kind of blushed a bit and didn’t know how to take it.”