Zayn Malik's "BeFoUr" Lyrics Give Us A More Personal Look At The Singer's Life — LISTEN
As the release date for Zayn Malik's debut album, Mind Of Mine, approaches, excitement only grows. And, to add to the anticipation, Malik just dropped another track from the forthcoming record. Malik mentioned his song "BeFoUr" way back in November 2015 when he first started doing press for his solo project, in an interview with Fader. Even just the title of this song has been the subject of much scrutiny. Is the song about the past, as in before, or does the mysterious "four" in the title refer to One Direction and the fact that the band is now a four-piece? Is Zayn Malik literally saying "be four," as member number five has left? What are the "BeFoUr" lyrics trying to tell us?
The song certainly throws up a lot of questions, which is why the lyrics need to be analyzed like right now. Having already heard "Pillowtalk," "Like I Would," and "It's You," "BeFoUr" gives us even more of a flavor of what Mind Of Mine will sound like. Malik is definitely cultivating a new sound, while subtly still drawing on his boy band roots. So what is "BeFoUr" about? Is Zayn Malik sending a not-so-secret message to his former bandmates? Or is the former 1D star's latest song about something else altogether? Let's investigate.
I've done this before, Not like this
The first line Malik utters in "BeFoUr" appears to reference the fact that singing isn't a new career for him. He's done it all before, just in a different situation, with other people by his side.
I don't drink to get drunk I feel all the right funk If there's something I want I'll take all the right wrongs Now, I'm gonna stay in my zone I'm tired of picking that bone And I can't be bothered to fight it no more, no
The first verse of "BeFoUr" doesn't hold back, and appears to reference the urge Malik has felt inside for a long time, to go solo and finally be true to himself. He's not afraid to "take all the right wrongs" if it'll get him what he wants. He's also tired of fighting, which could mean fighting with members of One Direction, or fighting his own desires and his need to move in a new direction with his music.
Now I'm on a roof Set it on fire, Just to give me proof, I'm living on a wire
The bridge seems to describe the situation Zayn Malik was in when he decided to leave One Direction. Setting a roof on fire while he's standing on it is certainly a bold analogy, and might reference the negative criticism he received for deciding to leave 1D. Many people thought he'd made a mistake, but he stuck to his guns, a bit like "living on a wire" or walking a tightrope.
So say what you wanna say, what you wanna, So say what you wanna say, what you gotta say, now, So say what you wanna say, what you want, Shame is you won't say that to my face
If the previous lyrics didn't confirm it, the chorus seems to categorically say that people can talk, criticise, and denigrate Malik all they want. The fact that no one will speak their criticism to his face galls the singer. But the refrain "say what you wanna say" proves that Malik is ready to move past all the negativity and bad press.
Time for me to move up So many hours have gone Heart beats the pump of my blood No strings for you to pull on You've got your tongue in your cheek So pardon if I don't speak You can’t put my cuts into your song, no
The line about there being "no strings for you to pull on" alludes to the way in which Zayn Malik previously felt manipulated, like a puppet, as a member of a boy band. It's also more than time for the musician to move on, as "so many hours have gone." The final line of this verse seems to reference Malik's desire for musical freedom, to write new music that is his alone.
"BeFoUr" is a bold song, because it seems to showcase all of the emotions Zayn Malik felt leaving One Direction and going out on his own. In the face of criticism, Malik was true to himself, and is forging a career on his own terms now. Listen to the song below, and get excited for Mind Of Mine 's imminent release.