Wow. In his first book, Zayn Malik goes into terrifying detail about exactly how incapacitating this performance anxiety is. The ‘Pillowtalk’ singer even explains why he missed his massive performance at the Wembley Stadium.
It’s no secret that Zayn Malik, 23, has anxiety that has kept him from touring and performing for fans, however in his new book, the former One Direction singer finally reveals exactly how serious his struggle is. In one excerpt from the book, Zayn explains what happened to him before the Capital FM Ball at Wembley Stadium on June 12, forcing him to cancel what would have been his first live UK performance since going solo.
“I knew I was going to play three songs — ‘Pillowtalk,’ ‘Like I Would,’ and ‘It’s You.’ But I also wanted to do ‘BeFour.’ I figured that if I was playing a show as big as Wembley Stadium, then I wanted to give my fans as much of a performance as possible. I was so determined to make it happen,” Zayn begins. “My family set off around 12:30, and I decided to rest for a couple of hours, so I went back to bed. Bad move. When I woke up, it felt like the walls were closing in on me. This overwhelming fear just kicked in out of nowhere, bringing with it a shitstorm of self-doubt. I questioned whether I was good enough to play that size of venue on my own. I tried to reassure myself with the fact that ‘Mind Of Mine’ and ‘Pillowtalk’ had done well in the charts, and that I had the support of my friends and family, too, but I was completely unnerved. I had no idea how to get onstage and perform.”
That is so sad to hear. However, Zayn continues to explain that he still tried his best — if only for the fans. “I could only manage a few paces before I hit an imaginary wall. It stopped me in my tracks and I would have to sit down again. I thought of all the fans who would have bought tickets to see me, and I felt sick with guilt — I knew how expensive tickets were and the efforts they’d gone to get them,” he shared. “Time was slipping away and there were lots of people counting on me showing up, which only added to the pressure. But I just couldn’t go through with it. Mentally, the anxiety had won.”
Zayn also confessed that something similar happened at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on April 3. “I’d got myself into this headspace where I was just like, ‘No way. I can’t do it. I’m not doing it.’ Out of nowhere, I felt totally paralyzed. My whole team came around to the house. They were trying to shake me out of it, but, for the longest time, I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it,” Zayn shared. “Then something clicked, and about 30 minutes before the show I managed to break through that wall, or whatever it was, and I did it. I felt sick. I was vomiting backstage before the performance, but I remember coming off after singing feeling so elated. It was so awesome playing that gig, the crowd was so supportive and it was like a huge victory for me: I hadn’t let my anxiety get the better of me; I’d done it. That was probably one of the best nights I’ve had in LA.”
Unfortunately, that just wasn’t the case for his Wembley performance. Hopefully Zayn can make it next year, because his dedicated fans will be there for him no matter what!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU think Zayn will go back to performing live for his fans? Comment below.