Five years after first competing in the X Factor and joining the band that would make him a global superstar, Zayn Malik resigned from world famous pop boyband One Direction in March 2015.
The end of an era of gooey pop songs, worldwide tours, and millions of teenage fans had begun. However, this was only the end of Zayn Malik – teen pop sensation, but the beginning of ZAYN – R&B artist.
Once dubbed the “bad boy” of One Direction, Malik has taken a course drastically different from that, changing his genre and image, leading to unprecedented success that has not been met by any other member of the band or the band itself.
Upon leaving the group, many expected that his career would go down the drain, but he proved otherwise with the release of his debut solo album Mind of Mine, released exactly a year after leaving the band.
The album was an instant success, as Malik masterfully, skillfully and artistically curated an awe-inspiring R&B and Soul album, where his deepest thoughts about fame, relationships, and sex are brought about and a new side is revealed. He accompanies his lyrics with dark, melancholic, and exuberant rhythms and beats, crafting every song around his powerful falsetto – his voice practically spiraling listeners into another world.
With hit singles such as “Pillowtalk” and “Like I Would,” Mind of Mine became a widely recognized alternative R&B album, allowing Malik to join the ranks of artists such as Frank Ocean, Beyonce and Miguel. The album topped the charts in multiple countries, making him the first UK male artist to debut at number one in the UK and US.
The artist also released his own autobiography, titled ZAYN, in which he delves into his personal life, rise to fame, transition into a solo artist and mysteries that surround him along with never before seen pictures. In the first few pages, he writes, “I’m going to show you as much as I can so that you can judge me on my own terms, not on what the press or anyone else says.”
Zayn has also taken the world of fashion by storm. He is amongst the most influential style icons for the millennial generation, working closely alongside fashion icon Donatella Versace and becoming the new designer for Versus Versace, the house’s younger, hipper clothing line.
“Versus is the rock and roll soul of the Versace family and has always been associated with music,” Ms. Versace said during an interview backstage at London Fashion Week. “Everyone from the Foo Fighters to Lenny Kravitz has played at the shows, and it is all about rebellion. For me, Zayn was the perfect fit.”
Together, Malik and Versace will design Zayn X Versus, and Zayn will be the face of its advertising campaigns. He is also collaborating with renowned Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti in a line of footwear.
The days of a preppy, teenage boy who donned a quiff and danced in unison with four other boys are over. The new, grown man – branded ZAYN – has been introduced. A brilliant performer with a virtuous voice, ZAYN will take the world by storm. And it’s only the beginning.
By Valeria Bula