Zayn Malik Complex Cover Story: See Interview Highlights! (VIDEO)

Truth rating: 10
Zayn Malik Complex Cover Story Interview

By Shari Weiss |

Zayn Malik Complex Cover Story Interview


Zayn Malik covers the April/May issue of Complex, giving a revealing interview about his new solo career. Gossip Cop has rounded up the best highlights below!

Zayn On Struggling With Authenticity While In One Direction
“That was something that was always underlying, and ended up as the main factor of me leaving in the end. It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it. That was always there. It was one of the things that wasn’t going to go away, so I had to go away.”

Zayn On Appearing “Ungrateful” For One Direction Success
“No one can ever say I was ungrateful, even though it sort of comes across that way when I mention that I was frustrated with the band. That’s not the case at all. That was just an experience that had to be dealt with at the time. With the music that I’m doing now, I get to express myself, and that creative tension is gone.”

Zayn On One Direction’s “You And I” Video
“That video had a very specific message behind it. We were trying to show that, regardless of the fact that we’re a group, we all have our own story to tell. In a sense, I understood what that was, and I can see how people can look at that and go, ‘They’re all five the same guy. They’re all wearing the same clothes. They’re all doing the same sh*t.’ But that’s not what we were trying to show.”

Zayn On One Direction’s “Restrictions”
“There were certain restrictions in terms of the way that we could come outside of that young teen boy look… Mainly my beard, honestly. I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Eventually, when I got older, I rebelled against it, and decided to keep it anyway. That was just because I looked older than the rest of them. That’s one of the things that is now quite cool. I get to keep my beard. I also wanted to dye my hair when I was in the band, but I wasn’t allowed to.”

Zayn On Being Deemed One Direction’s “Mysterious” Member
“In terms of me being described as the mysterious one, that was put on me as a stigma because I didn’t get the chance to speak as much. The other boys’ personalities were much more forward. They would answer the questions. I would let that happen because, like I said, I didn’t have any creative input there. I didn’t feel like I was going to say anything about it anyway. Now I get to talk about what I’m passionate about — it’s nice to have the chance to speak.”

Zayn On Releasing A Solo Album
” know already it’s going to be massively different. I felt different when the single dropped. There’s so many extra emotions tied into it because it’s a personal song. None of the songs that I wrote in One Direction were personal to me. Whenever we’d get an award or this or that, it was never something that I was emotionally attached to. Whereas with this, I am. I know what’s going to happen. I’m going to be crazy ecstatic when that album drops. I’m going to be buzzing and I’m going to go out. I’ll probably party with my friends and enjoy it.”

Zayn On Why Being “Real” Is More Important Than Success
“I believe that success follows authenticity. People see through fake sh*t. They don’t want to see that; they want a real person. That’s why Kanye is so successful. He’s speaking the truth, regardless of whomever he offends, he isn’t bothered. That’s admirable.”

Zayn On Women Influencing His New Music
“Massively. Not just women, but life in general. I feel like women are a big part of life, so I’ve got to include them in my songs!”

Zayn On Whether He Creates “Better Art” When He’s “Happy” With His Love Life Versus Not
“That’s an interesting question. I feel like you get creative with things when you can be honest. Whether that’s positive or negative, it can work both ways. If you’re in a really good place, you can write a really good, upbeat song. When you’re in a sh*t place you can write a downbeat f*cking ballad! That’s just the way it is. But I feel like you can draw good creative things from both.”

As for the breakdown on his new album, Malik says, “There’s a good ratio of both. There’s a lot of falling in love and a lot of falling out of love. It’s probably 60/40, falling out of love.” He goes on to admit, “It’s a very sexual album.”

Zayn On Attention Surrounding His Relationship with Gigi Hadid
“I try to keep the two very separate. I try to, as much as I can. But there’s only so much you can do… I’m learning to deal with it. It’s just one of those things now, in the background. I just leave it as a bit of a noise in the background.”

Zayn On Filming His “Pillowtalk” Makeouts With Gigi
“To be honest, the reason it was used was because we were just messing around. It wasn’t even, like, part of the shoot. You know when they say, ‘action’? They didn’t do that. It was just rolling.”

Zayn On Positive Responses To “Pillowtalk”
“When that song went out, and I saw the reaction from the fans, that took a little weight off me for a bit. Obviously, there’s still a lot of pressure. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Zayn On Staying Quiet About Religion And Politics
“There may be a time where I feel like I have something to say about a certain topic and I’m educated enough and armed with the exact information I need before I make a statement that doesn’t offend anybody. Then I will do that. But in today’s day and age, it’s very hard to make any sort of statement that doesn’t offend somebody. I don’t want to throw stones out of a river that’s already raging. You know what I’m saying? It’s doing its thing by itself. I don’t need to put any input in there. I’ll just leave everything to itself.”

“I see everything. I see the political thing. I see the Trump thing. I see it on the news. They are saying, “Does this mean Zayn Malik has to leave America?” These things are always there. I see what’s going on, but I’ll never be the person that will make some sort of statement. I never want to make anybody biased toward anything. I could have an opinion, but that’s my opinion. That’s the main thing for me. I don’t want to influence anybody’s brain in any sort of way.”

Zayn On Struggling With Fame
“I’m a pretty sh*t celebrity all around. But when it comes to TV, that’s the worst. I hate the whole setup. When it’s interviews like this, I don’t mind. I’m just talking to a normal person. It’s when you are fully glammed up and you’re sitting with a hundred lights in your face and someone is asking you questions in front of a crowd of people—that’s when it becomes a bit strange for me. I’m not a public speaker. I’m a singer. Those two things are very different in my brain. I’m not an extrovert in everyday life. I’m a performer. When it comes to stage I can sing and do that, but when I’m in normal-day life I’m very reserved. I guess that’s my downfall.

Zayn On Smoking
“I smoked quite a bit in school. I used to write raps and I found it was quite helpful in that department, coming up with words and different concepts. It helped me think outside the box.”

Zayn On His Confidence And Competitiveness
“I might be quietly confident within myself, but I could never be sure that everybody is going to enjoy it. Everybody is going to say something negative at some point. You’ve got to prepare yourself for that, I guess.” Similarly, Malik says he’s “quietly” competitive. He explains, “I’m not overtly competitive. I don’t shout it from the rooftops. But yeah, I always want to win.”

Zayn On His Future Plans
“I want to go to school. I’d love to get a degree in English, or literature… I think I’ll just do a home thing. I’ll get my courses from one of the universities around [Los Angeles] and just do home study. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to get my degree eventually. I want to do that, and hopefully write my next record while I’m doing it.”

He adds, “I’m enjoying it right now, being creative. I’m enjoying writing music and doing this. And if it doesn’t work out, I would probably just live a simple life… I’ve done a lot for a 23-year-old. I’d be stupid to complain.”

Malik’s Complex cover story was released on Monday, just days before the Friday debut of his album, Mind Of Mine. See video from the shoot below, and stick with Gossip Cop for more coverage!


  1. Gossip Cop
  2. Mediaite
  3. LawNewz
  4. The Mary Sue