Zain Javadd Malik
January 12, 1993 (age 26)
West Lane, Baildon, Bradford
DJ Malik, Zayno, Bradford Bad Boy
Los Angeles, California, United States
Yaser Malik, father
Kehlani, Naughty Boy (former), Snakehips, Malay, Make You Know Love, M.I.A.
He left the band on March 25, 2015, to pursue a solo music career. His debut solo album, Mind of Mine, was released on March 25, 2016. His second album, Icarus Falls, was released on December 14, 2018.
Zayn was born in West Lane, Baildon, Bradford, England. He is of English and Pakistani descent. He was born to British-Pakistani father Yaser Malik and English mother Patricia. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He and his family are Muslim. Zayn grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. He was a student at Lower Fields Primary School in East Bowling and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school.
Zayn's mother, Trisha, told the BBC in 2013 about her son's religious upbringing, stating “I made sure the children went to the mosque. Zayn has read the Quran three times.” When Zayn was growing up, Trisha worked as a halal chef at a primary school, cooking meals for Muslim children.
- See also: One Direction history
In 2010, when he was 17 years old, Zayn auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of The X Factor. He revealed in the film This Is Us and in his 2015 Fader magazine interview that he would not have gone to his audition if his mother hadn't dragged him out of bed that morning. He stated he went to the audition because he "felt like I owed her".
Zayn sang "Let Me Love You", a 2004 hit by R&B singer Mario. All three judges — Simon, Louis, and Nicole — gave him a 'yes'. His audition was initially not broadcast, but was later shown briefly on The Xtra Factor.
Zayn was noted for becoming nervous and withdrawn in bootcamp, and famously refused to participate in a dance segment until personally encouraged by Simon Cowell. He passed the dance stage but failed to proceed past bootcamp, where he was initially eliminated as a solo artist, but brought back to be added to the group that would become One Direction. Following their placing third on The X Factor, One Direction signed a record contract with Sony Music subsidiary Syco Music, releasing 4 #1 albums with Zayn (and 1 without), and completing 4 world tours in 4 years.
Departure From One Direction
On March 25, 2015 One Direction's official Facebook account announced in a statement that Malik had permanently departed from the band, citing his desire to live life away from the spotlight. Additionally, in an interview with The Sun, he further explained that he "didn't feel like himself anymore" and that he had been unhappy for a while, having only continued because of the fans. His former bandmates echoed his words in their October/November promo campaign for Made in the A.M., stating he "fell out of love with the music" and they could tell he was increasingly unhappy being within the band. They also stated he did not enjoy liaising with the media, as he is shy and introverted. In January 2016, Zayn elaborated on his departure saying he never really wanted to be in a band, as he auditioned for X Factor as a solo artist, but stayed with 1D as long as he could. He credited the other band members with trying to give him R&B ad-libs in their songs so he would enjoy performing more, but it became more evident as time went on that he would eventually leave. Zayn also spoke out about strict management, saying the band was constantly told what to do, how to keep their appearances and how to sound, saying they were not free to write whatever they wanted. Zayn said there was no room for him to express himself musically the way he wanted to, because the band's sound was distinctly pop-rock rather than R&B. In November 2016, Zayn revealed to Evening Standard Magazine that he did not write the official exit statement posted to Facebook, saying "Look how it’s worded. I’m not a 35-year-old lawyer. I don’t write like that". In April 2017, Harry Styles told Rolling Stone magazine: "I think it's a shame Zayn felt that way, but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you're not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I'm glad he's doing what he likes, and good luck to him".
After exiting One Direction on March 25, Zayn officially signed with RCA Records as a solo artist on July 29, 2015. His first solo feature interview with Fader magazine in November 2015 reported that Simon Cowell decided which label Zayn would move to.
Zayn premiered his debut single, "Pillowtalk" on January 29, 2016. Simultaneously, the music video premiered on MTV, featuring Zayn's real life on-off girlfriend, model Gigi Hadid. Pillowtalk debuted at #1 on iTunes in 90 countries, making Zayn only one of two male artists to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. Zayn's debut album, Mind of Mine, was released March 25, 2016 - a year to the day he left One Direction. He became the first UK male artist to debut at #1 in the US and UK. Zayn subsequently released music videos for album tracks 'It's You' and 'BeFour' and released 'Like I Would' as the second official single, which he performed at the 2016 IHeartRadio awards. Zayn confirmed 'Wrong' as the third single from Mind of Mine, but it did not receive promotion.
Zayn was originally scheduled to perform at the 2016 Capital FM Summertime Ball but cancelled at the last minute, citing "the worst anxiety of my career". A scheduled October concert in Dubai was also cancelled due to his continued anxiety. As of December 2018, Zayn is yet to perform live again.
Zayn collaborated with a number of artists in 2016: electro-R&B duo Snakehips for ''Cruel'', English rapper M.I.A. for "Freedun", American R&B singers Chris Brown and Usher on a remix of "Back To Sleep" and American pop singer Taylor Swift on "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" which was featured on the Fifty Shades Darker film soundtrack. Zayn also featured on the soundtracks for the Ghostbusters remake and Netflix series The Get Down. The collaboration with Swift was a top 5 hit worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy in 2018.
Zayn released an autobiographical book, simply titled ZAYN. He attended the 2016 American Music Awards, where he won New Artist of the Year, and briefly greeted former bandmate Niall with a handshake. Zayn posed for and was interview by a number of magazines throughout the year including Dazed, GQ, Paper, The Evening Standard and Glamour.
In 2017, Zayn established himself as a fashion industry figure, releasing a shoe line in collaboration with Giuseppe, and a clothing line in collaboration with Versace. Zayn also released a smartphone emoji app called Zaynmoji. He won Best Music Video at the 2017 iHeartRadio Awards for "Pillowtalk" and Top New Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. In March, Zayn released a single titled "Still Got Time" with Canadian rapper PARTYNEXTDOOR. The song was a top 20 hit worldwide, and the music video featured a raucous party held in Zayn's actual London residence. In September, he released a song titled "Dusk Till Dawn", featuring Australian singer Sia, for the 2017 film The Mountain Between Us. The single was a top 20 hit worldwide.
Zayn released six singles in 2018: "Let Me", "Entertainer", "Sour Diesel", "Too Much" (produced by American producer Timbaland), "Fingers" and "No Candle No Light" (featuring Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj). "Let Me" was a top 20 success in the UK, however the remaining singles did not commercially perform. It was reported in April 2018 that Zayn's management had dumped him from their client roster after he refused to tour, and he clarified on Twitter in November that his label was not cooperating on an album release date. In May, Zayn received a Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) award for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever". In September, he released a line of bags in collaboration with French high-fashion brand The Kooples. Zayn's second album "Icarus Falls" was released on December 14, and featured all released singles aside from "Still Got Time" and "Dusk Til Dawn". Three new singles - "Rainberry", "Good Years" and "There You Are" - were also released. The album did not perform well on the charts, debuting at #61 on the US Billboard 200 and #77 in the UK.
Zayn's parents are Yaser and Trisha Malik. He has three sisters; Safaa, Doniya and Waliyha. Zayn credits his father's music taste as a primary influence on his own singing and songwriting. In One Direction's 2013 film This Is Us, Zayn is shown buying a house for his entire family, stating this was the reason he wanted to be a successful entertainer, so he could give back to, and provide for, his family. His father was not featured in the film.
Zayn owns three dogs; Boris, Rhino and Marley. An attack dog was mentioned in his November 2015 Fader interview, but has never been photographed. Ex-girlfriend Perrie Edwards kept the two dogs they bought together.
Zayn dated fellow The X Factor (UK) contestant Geneva Lane briefly in 2010, when he was 17 and she was 20. They were photographed sharing a kiss on December 12, 2010 after the grand finale episode, and Zayn confirmed the next day on Twitter that they were dating. They officially split the following month, on January 21, 2011.
In 2011, Zayn dated The X Factor (UK) season seven runner-up, Rebecca Ferguson for four months, when he was 18 and she was 23. Their relationship drew media attention because of the five year age gap. They met while they were on The X Factor, but Rebecca stated that "It took a while before we looked at each other in a different light. There was no one particular moment, it just evolved over time." After their July 2011 split, Rebecca stated, "Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best." However, in an interview in October 2012, Zayn stated, "It shouldn't have happened. It was just a wrong idea from the start. It did end quite badly, so we don't talk any more. We're not in touch at all." Ferguson called the relationship "a mistake" in 2013, saying the age gap wasn't worth the controversy.
Zayn dated, and was previously engaged to, Perrie Edwards, a member of The X Factor eighth season winning girl group, Little Mix. They met when One Direction guest performed on the show in November 2011. In May 2012, paparazzi took photographs of the pair kissing. They were dogged by four separate cheating scandals involving Zayn, including one where photos of him asleep in bed were leaked online by the woman he allegedly cheated with. In August 2013, Zayn and Perrie confirmed they were engaged. After the fourth cheating scandal in February 2015, Zayn flew home to the UK, then exited One Direction the following week. He and Perrie still appeared to be planning their marriage, with Perrie jokingly referring to herself as "Perrie Malik" in June 2015. However, on August 4, 2015 Perrie confirmed they had split. Zayn called off the engagement, ending the relationship a month before. In his November 2015 interview with Fader Magazine, Zayn denied he broke up with Perrie via text message, stating “I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that.”
Zayn has been dating American model Gigi Hadid since November 2015. Gigi appears in Zayn's music video for Pillowtalk. The two have posed for a number of high fashion magazine photoshoots and attended the 2016 Met Gala together. In March 2018, Zayn and Gigi initially confirmed a break-up, but have appeared to continue their relationship since.
In May 2014, a video recorded in April by former One Direction bandmate Louis, was leaked by The Daily Mail. The footage showed Zayn and Louis, alongside other members of their management team, smoking cannabis while being driven to a concert in Peru. The footage contained Zayn criticizing One Direction's official merchandise, stating that both the band and the fans were growing tired of it pandering to a much younger audience, devoid of any artistic creativity. Louis received media backlash for apparently using racial slurs. No member of the band has ever publicly commented on the incident, or the video, but Liam offered an apology on their behalf on Twitter, a few days after the video leaked. It was speculated in early 2015 that Zayn and Louis may be charged for using illegal drugs but nothing eventuated.
Throughout Zayn's four year relationship with Perrie Edwards, numerous allegations of his infidelity were speculated on by the media. While nothing was ever directly confirmed, pictures of Zayn asleep in bed, taken by a waitress he reportedly slept with, were leaked onto the internet in 2013. In March 2015, allegations resurfaced when paparazzi pictures of Zayn holding hands and cuddling a woman named Lauren Richardson were published, and the woman herself uploaded a picture of her in Zayn's arms. The reports caused Zayn to lash out on Twitter stating "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f*cks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x". The next day, Zayn was signed off from One Direction's world tour and a week later he announced his exit from the band. In his November 2015 Fader interview, he said the incident did not lead to his decision to leave, stating "The two things never really coincided in my mind. Obviously, publicly, that’s the way it worked, because it worked well for the purpose."
Closeting/Publicity Relationship Rumors
As is the case for Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, many One Direction fans created a conspiracy theory about Zayn being in a hidden relationship with fellow bandmate Liam Payne. Speculation began based on their behaviour towards one another, which appeared very personal. In numerous interviews, Zayn showed specific knowledge of Liam and his family suggesting they spent the most time together. Until 2017, Liam was the only member Zayn remained in contact after leaving the band. When Zayn's engagement to Perrie was addressed in one particular interview, Liam stumbled over his words saying "I don't think [the wedding] will happen...I think you'll...lose the rings...". Many speculate that because One Direction and Little Mix both shared the same management, and both bands were created by Simon Cowell, that Zayn's relationship with Perrie was perhaps built for publicity, as well as a cover-up for Zayn's alleged relationship with Liam. Fans noted how a scandal involving Perrie would usually make headlines when One Direction were releasing something new, and how Zayn would constantly be mentioned in Little Mix interviews. Fans and media outlets alike initially speculated the same about Zayn's relationship with Gigi Hadid.
Zayn had a brief working relationship with producer Naughty Boy (real name Shahid Khan) from early 2014 to mid 2015. Naughty Boy has ties to Syco Music and is friendly with Simon Cowell. Tension was reported to have risen between One Direction and Naughty Boy after they did not feature songs produced by him on their album Four, after collaborating throughout 2014. Zayn appeared close with Naughty Boy, even purchasing custom made 'Zaughty' tracksuits with him in 2014. In March 2015, after Zayn exited One Direction, Naughty Boy posted a series of antagonizing tweets, making fun of One Direction's fans, claiming "Zaughty" had "won". Louis Tomlinson called him out, tweeting "Wow @NaughtyBoyMusic you're so inconsiderate pal , seriously how fucking old are you? Grow up! #masterofallwisdom". Naughty Boy responded by leaking a rough version of an unfinished solo Zayn song titled I Won't Mind. In May 2015, another Twitter fight between Tomlinson and Naughty Boy erupted, after Naughty Boy responded to an Instagram post by Liam, which stated he had found a replacement fifth member. Naughty posted a photo titled "Replace this" onto Twitter, which Louis promptly insulted. Naughty Boy responded by saying Louis couldn't sing and used autotune. The fight concluded when Zayn addressed Louis, tweeting "Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?". These events were the catalyst for the fan-led campaign to make No Control an unofficial single. In July 2015, after Naughty Boy leaked Zayn's cover of Rae Sremmurd's song No Type, along with a music video he secretly filmed in January 2015 (prior to exiting 1D), Zayn cut ties with Naughty Boy, tweeting "@NaughtyBoyMusic you fat joke stop pretending we're friends, no one knows you." Naughty Boy went on to work with Beyonce on the hit single Runnin'. In January 2017, Louis and Zayn confirmed they'd made amends.
Zayn is half Pakistani and was a practising Muslim until 2018. He has been subjected to numerous racist attacks both from the public and the press:
In August 2012, Zayn deleted his Twitter account after receiving constant racist attacks and accusations of infidelity. He remade his Twitter account later, but received more attacks and death threats after tweeting #FreePalestine in 2014, during a particularly vicious string of attacks between Palestine and Israel.
In 2014, US talk show The Daily Show compared Zayn to a terrorist. Fan backlash caused the show to address the joke, claiming they did not know he was Muslim. They later made fun of his fans for defending him.
In 2015, US personality Bill Maher also compared Zayn to a terrorist, and also made fun of the fanbase upon their immediate backlash. In November 2015, a Huffington Post article about terrorist group ISIS briefly mentioned Zayn as an example of a Western Muslim public figure. A photograph of Zayn was used in social media postings of the article, making it look as though his image was being used to illustrate the terrorist angle. Huffington Post deleted and apologized for the error. Zayn's 2015 Fader interview addressed the racism he has faced, stating "As the band’s only person of color, and the West’s single most prominent Muslim celebrity, Zayn has faced misunderstanding to an unimaginable degree...after hearing Zayn talk about how normal he is, I can’t help but wonder how “normal” a Muslim person would have to be in order to appease all the world’s bigots—and whether, given the impossible degree of nonthreatening-ness that seems required, how someone in Zayn’s position could ever feel safe enough to say something like, “Yes, I do want to be influential.” In October 2015, Zayn was photographed wearing a shirt that read "I Am Not A Terrorist...Please Don't Arrest Me" as part of a social campaign against anti-terror legislation.
In May 2016, US rapper Azealia Banks verbally attacked Zayn online with a series of racist and homophobic tweets, accusing him of stealing black culture and plagiarising her look and style for his Like I Would music video. She was suspended from Twitter and turned down from a music festival as a result. She later wrote Zayn a public letter apologising for her comments.
In July 2016, Zayn came under fire after tweeting several statements supporting an "All Lives Matter" perspective. Fans felt this was insensitive and misunderstood the point of "Black Lives Matter" movements/protests. Zayn hit back at these claims saying "Meanwhile I’m brown myself, and understand it’s nothing to do with police brutality it’s about minority’s equality". He eventually deleted all tweets relating to the subject.
His first tattoo is والتر, which is his grandfather's name, Walter, in Arabic, on his chest. He got the tattoo after his grandfather passed away while Zayn was competing on The X Factor. During an interview with Capital FM in September 2011, Zayn confirmed he had two additional tattoos. He stated he had a Japanese symbol that means "born lucky" on his stomach (later covered by a heart), and a yin/yang symbol on his left wrist. Zayn said the crossed fingers on his forearm are a symbol of good luck. He tweeted that the inscription across his collarbone meant "be true to who you are". The tattoo of a woman (rumored to be of Perrie Edwards) was completed during the American leg of the Take Me Home Tour, in Maryland. The snake and tiger tattoos were done in a hotel room during the Oceania leg of the Take Me Home Tour. In January 2016, Zayn told Zane Lowe he had two new tattoos, one of his debut album title (Mind Of Mine) on his left arm, and one on his leg of a man's silhouette. On March 11, 2016, Zayn debuted a new tattoo of a sparrow on his neck. On July 14, 2016, a Snapchat video showed Zayn displaying a new finger tattoo: a Star Wars lightsaber that glows in the dark. Paparazzi photos from September 2016 showed Zayn has covered his "Perrie" tattoo, though it is unknown what the new design is. In November 2016, Zayn revealed to Evening Standard Magazine that One Direction were not allowed to get tattoos, but he decided to anyway because "Once it's done, it's done". He spoke of management "going crazy" after he got the "Zap!" tattoo on his arm.
As of March 2018, Zayn has approximately 48 known tattoos.
- "Mind of Mindd (Intro)" — writing
- "Pillowtalk" — writing
- "It's You" — writing
- "Befour" — writing
- "She" — writing
- "Drunk" — writing
- "Intermission: Flower" — writing
- "Rear View" — writing
- "Wrong" — writing
- "Fool For You" — writing
- "Borderz" — writing
- "Truth" — writing
- "Lucozade" — writing
- "TIO" — writing
- "Blue" — writing
- "Bright" — writing
- "Like I Would" — writing
- "She Don't Love Me" — writing
- "Do Something Good" — writing
- "Golden" — writing
Ghostbusters 2016 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- "wHo" — writing
- "Cruel" — co-writing
Chris Brown collaboration
- "Back To Sleep" (Remix)
- "Freedun" — co-writing
Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Taylor Swift collaboration
- "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - vocals
- "Still Got Time" - vocals, co-writing
The Mountain Between Us: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Sia collaboration
- "Dusk Till Dawn" featuring Sia - writing
- “Let Me”
- “Back to Life”
- “Stand Still”
- “Flight of the Stars”
- “If I Got You”
- “Talk to Me”
- “There You Are”
- “I Don’t Mind”
- “Icarus Interlude”
- “Good Guy”
- “You Wish You Knew”
- “Sour Diesel”
- “All That”
- “Good Years”
- “Fresh Air”
- “No Candle No Light” (featuring Nicki Minaj)
- “Too Much” (featuring Timbaland)
August Alsina collaboration
- "Don't Matter" (remix)
- "Vas Happenin?" (Famous Catchphrase)
- “I feel like there is a connection between music and art, I don’t know what that is but there’s definitely a connection between it because I just can play music and whatever I feel from the music. I think I kinda paint it.”
- “Life is funny. Things change, people change, but you will always be you, so stay true to yourself and never sacrifice who you are for anyone.”
- “There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there's so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”
- "I want to thank God for allowing me to be able to do what my dreams were. I'd like to thank my mum and dad for making me Asian and allowing me to have an effect on the Asian community, it’s a massive honor. I’d also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys that I ever met, whilst being in the band and doing all the amazing things that I did, the things we did will stay with me for the rest of my life and I thank you for that. Here’s to the future." (After winning an achievement award at the 2015 Asian Awards)
- "#FreePalestine" (on Twitter)
- “My main influences in music came from my dad, a lot of R&B, R. Kelly, Usher, Donell Jones, Prince. I used to play a lot of rap as well, 2Pac and Biggie. A lot of bop, a lot of reggae, Gregory Isaac and weird artists like Yellowman.” (Talking to Fader magazine in 2015 about his taste in music)
- “I can map every lyric and every note to mean something to me. It’s a snapshot of my life and the thoughts on my life, my hopes, my aspirations, and my regrets in the summer of 2015.” (Talking to Fader magazine in 2015 about his debut solo album, Mind of Mine)
- "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 more forward. They would answer the questions. I let that happen because I didn’t have any creative input there. Now I get to talk about what I’m passionate about—it’s nice to have the chance to speak. (Complex Magazine, 2016)
- "An alien spoke to me in a dream" (Why he left One Direction, Glamour, 2016)
- “Do your research and be a bit more prepared about certain situations before you make a decision" (On what advice he would give to his 17-year-old self, Evening Standard, 2016)
- "It's not always the wisest thing to [tell people you wrote a song about them], it just complicates things so I have tended not to do that anymore. I'll be having a conversation with somebody, maybe a little argument and then I'll throw it in their face: 'Well I wrote that song about you, so see you later". (On songwriting, BBC Radio 1, 2018)
- Zayn's birth name is actually spelled 'Zain'. He has not legally changed the spelling. The original spelling was still being used in media articles from December 2010. It is unknown when or why Zayn switched to the alternate spelling.
- His name means "beautiful king" in Arabic.
- In Arabic, Malik means 'king' or 'chieftain'.
- When he was younger, he sang for Jay Sean who was impressed by his talent.
- Mexican-American Marvel character Robbie Reyes (Ghost Rider) was illustrated to resemble Zayn.
- He had never owned a passport or been on a plane before 2010.
- His zodiac sign is Capricorn.
- He loves art and regularly shares his and his fans artwork on social media.
- He was not allowed to grow a beard or dye his hair while in One Direction.
- His first tweet from his first Twitter account @zaynmalik was on August 9, 2010.
- He is the godfather to stylist Caroline Watson's daughter, Brooklyn.
- Four was the last album he recorded as part of One Direction.
- Night Changes was his last single, and music video, as a member of One Direction.
- Zayn placed at #32 on GQ's Best Dressed Men of 2016.
- In November 2018, he told British Vogue he no longer considered himself Muslim.
- @zaynmalik — Official Twitter
- @zayn — Official Instagram
- Official Facebook Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page
- Official Website
- Official Snapchat
- Official Tumblr
- ↑ File image - Questionnaire Zayn filled out where he writes his full name.
- ↑ Trisha quote
- ↑ Interview with The Sun
- ↑ Harry Styles New Direction
- ↑ Zayn cancels Dubai
- ↑ @zaynmalik. Twitter. Confirming Geneva relationship. December 13, 2010.
- ↑ Zayn Cheating Allegations
- ↑ Zayn's Tweet
- ↑ Louis's Tweet
- ↑ Zayn's Tweet To Louis
- ↑ Zayn's Naughty Boy Tweet
- ↑ Zayn Deleted Twitter 2012
- ↑ The Daily Show Tweet
- ↑ Bill Maher Not Apologizing
- ↑ Huffington Post Controversy
- ↑ Fader Interview 2015
- ↑ Azealia Banks racist and homophobic attack on Zayn
- ↑ Azealia Banks Apologises To Zayn Malik
- ↑ Zayn Tweets and Deletes
- ↑ One Direction Need Tattoo Advice. Capital FM. September 12, 2011.
- ↑ @zaynmalik. Twitter. Left collarbone tattoo. April 5, 2012
- ↑ Twitter Zayn's first tweet