On Friday, a certain former One Direction-er released his first solo album to the masses, and Zayn's Mind of Mine just about broke the Internet. Because not only are all of the songs amazing, there are also so many things to pick apart and go crazy for in them. Like the lyrics. So don’t think for one minute that I listened to this album and didn’t ask myself the entire time, “OMG is this song about One Direction?” There are definitely a few that seem to be referring to something in the singer’s past that either inspired this album or his recent independent streak. And, trust me, “rEaR vIeW” definitely seems to be about One Direction.
Sure, the whole song is sort of covered up and couched in a love song. Sung to a mysterious “you,” the song is largely about trusting that person and following them into what, upon first glance, seems like a romantic relationship. But, as I picked apart the lyrics of this song, I stopped seeing it as a love song and started seeing it more as a song that Malik is singing to himself. I mean, just look at some of these lyrics that clearly point to some key moments in Malik’s past.
In the first verse, he sings about not having the time to help “you find all the words melodies and memories.” Um, that doesn’t sound like a love song to me. That sounds more like the words of a frustrated songwriter, especially one who claims to have been creatively thwarted by his involvement in One Direction.
And then there are references to this mysterious “you” getting a fresh start. He sings, “Heard about all the miles you’ve gone just to start again.” Hmmm, sounds like something Malik could be singing to himself. After all that time and progress he made with One Direction, this solo album is really his attempt to start again. It must be scary to start over after such a successful career, and this line definitely hints at some of those feelings that Malik must be feeling.
But it gets even more telling than that, because, in the bridge, Malik breaks into lyrics that seem to be more about One Direction than anything else. He sings, “I never doubted myself but I doubted you,” and the song quickly transitions from lovey dovey to something a little more angsty. It’s in this moment that the song seems to shift from being directed at a love interest to being directed at his former band mates. He never doubted himself as an artist, he seems to be saying, but he always seemed to doubt them. Considering that the artist has spoken openly about never feeling like he fit in with One Direction, creatively-speaking, this line seems to be sung directly about his former friends and band mates.
Is it possible that I am making everything about Mind of Mine about One Direction? Definitely. But I think there are enough direct links in this song to suggest a 1D connection. Check out the song below.
Image: Giphy (2)