When Zayn Malik revealed that he was leaving One Direction, he was sure to note that he’d remain close to the other four members. However, he has hinted that his plans didn’t necessarily work out.
In an interview with Billboard, Malik implied that not everyone from his 1D days keeps in touch with him. “The truth of it is, you can think one thing about a situation and the total opposite can happen,” Malik explained. “I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, but I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”
Malik didn’t call out any specific members of the British boy band, but this certainly differs from what he claimed would happen when he first left the band. “I know I have four friends for life in Louis [Tomlinson], Liam [Payne], Harry [Styles] and Niall [Horan],” he said in a statement in March 2015. “I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
Publicly, the men have all seemed to be on good terms until recently. Malik tweeted out compliments when 1D released their single “Drag Me Down” in August, and later that month Liam Payne told Radio 1 that he supported Malik’s decision. “One Direction was never Zayn’s sort of music so he kind of always wanted to find something else,” Payne said (via MTV). “If your heart’s not into something you can’t just carry on doing it because of fame and stuff. You have to go and do what you want to do.”
However, the news that they haven’t kept in touch isn’t entirely surprising. Last month, he called the band’s music “generic as f---.” Malik’s honesty is expected to be a theme on his solo record. The 22-year-old told Billboard that he was no longer censoring himself.
“We weren’t allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to,” he said of One Direction’s music. “I’d sit and wonder, ‘If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?’ My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what’s real, so why don’t we write some stuff that we’re actually going through?”
His solo album is scheduled to be released in the spring.