Hot on the heels of the release of One Direction's pre-hiatus album, Made In The A.M., their first without Zayn Malik, Malik has decided to take this opportunity to announce the upcoming release of his new song. Malik's "Befour" single is aptly and/or badly titled — I haven't decided which yet. In the accompanying interview with FADER, Malik talks about his influences, how he feels about going solo, and what we can expect from his new music. First off, he says that the album is directly influenced by "the last five years, with being in the band and everything." Talk about cashing in on your bandmate's success. Next, Malik says, "It's quite a personal album," which is sure to have hardcore fans excited. Finally, he states, "And we recorded a lot of it actually out in the woods." WAIT, WHAT? Zayn Malik recorded his new album out in the woods? Now I'm interested!
Call me cynical, but this move coming right now feels like an attempt to hijack the publicity train of his arguably more famous ex-bandmates, especially with a song title that tries to be clever but might be a clear hint to Malik's final album with 1D, Four. But, hey, I'm a fair person! So I listened to the melodic snippet playing behind Malik's interview to find out for myself. And you should too. How does Malik's new music sound? Totally different, that's for sure. Although the snippet is only short, and features no vocals, it's a world away from the processed pop of his 1D days. Ambient, with self-proclaimed Bollywood influences and a definite dance beat, Malik is taking his career in a completely new direction, and, whether you love him or hate him, that's a bold move.
Do I think his new image is not at all akin to the so-called "normal life" he said he was hoping for when he left the band? You know it! But there's a chance that his music will actually sound good. I mean, maybe. The main concern I have is whether Malik will insist on more titles like "Befour," which seems like a bit too on-the-nose reference to his previous life. He should be breaking free from the shadow of One Direction, not making more references to it. If he's making a fresh start in the music industry, and showing us the real him, I want him to start with a clean slate. Otherwise, this situation will continue to be a fresh wound that will never fade for fans.
Watch the video for yourself, and hear the snippet, below.
Images: The FADER/YouTube