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Zayn Malik: It Was ‘Liberating’ Quitting One Direction — I ‘Always Knew’ I’d Leave

Tue, November 17, 2015 3:05pm EDT by 11 Comments

Fans were shocked and totally caught off guard when Zayn Malik left One Direction, but the singer says that eventually quitting the band was always his plan! In a new interview, Zayn opens up about his decision, and reveals the most ‘liberating’ part of going solo — watch here!

Zayn Malik is finally coming clean about why he quit One Direction. The 22-year-old has new music on the way as a solo artist, but admits in a brand new interview that he’s been planning this big break for years…and that he knew he’d eventually quit the band that skyrocketed him to fame to pursue the dream he really wanted.

“It’s a nice feeling to come out of a place where you are being told what to do and just to be upset because of certain expectations or certain things that people wanted to see,” the singer says in a teaser for his interview with The Fader. “This is just all my perspective and that’s fully liberating. I won’t be able to give you one standout moment where I was like this is what I want to do, because I guess I just always kind of knew.”

To hear more about One Direction’s thoughts on Zayn leaving the band, head over to iTunes and download the HollywoodLife podcast for free!

Whoa, that is so crazy that Zayn “always kind of knew” he would be making this decision! He elaborates further about new music in the interview, and even added that he’d been building this new album up in his head for several years. “I don’t feel like people really know what I’m going to give them musically,” he explains. “And once they hear it I feel like they will understand me a little bit more, and they’ll understand why I did what I did, and why I left the band, and why I had to write this s*** down. Because for five — not even five years, for ten years — this album has been in my brain, and it’s just been there, sat with me, needing to be out.”

While teasing the interview, the X-Factor contestant also previewed his first solo song “Befour.” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hear any lyrics, but we did get a taste of the haunting music that will accompany the track. Zayn has been hard at work for months putting this new album together, and he went through two MAJOR life changes that he was able to draw experience from. Not only did he leave the band in March, but he also ended his engagement to Perrie Edwards over the summer. A professional AND personal breakup?! This is going to be good…

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HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Zayn claims he’d always planned to leave 1D? Or did you expect as much?

— Alyssa Norwin