I hope you were sitting down before you found out about this. Zayn Malik just announced that he's leaving One Direction, and I don't know about you, but I'm completely stunned. I mean obviously we should have seen this coming, given that Malik dropped out of 1D's tour, but I guess I just didn't realize everything would fall apart this quickly. I feel pretty stunned. And since I'm betting there are a lot of us in this same boat, who aren't ready or able to come to terms with our feelings on this situation yet, I found a way for us to avoid thinking about this tragedy — by speculating on Malik's future solo career. Do we think he's gonna have one? What will it be like? Did we do something wrong? Is he mad at us? Is this our fault? Oh shoot, y'know what? I accidentally went to the bad place again. This is gonna be harder than I thought, but I'm determined to get through it.
So. Let's look for some clues. Right off the bat I'm leaning toward "yes, Zayn will have a solo career" because of the recent announcement that he'll be featured on the artist Naughty Boy's new album. Starting a new collaboration? Starting to be featured on tracks as an individual and not one of five alongside Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne? Sounds like a solo career to me! But then you read what Naughty Boy had to say about the project, and you won't be so sure:
We’re making music and having fun. This is just like a side gig and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s a good time for Zayn to showcase what he can really do. I don’t think that is being fully exploited with the band because there are five people and it needs to be balanced out.
That doesn't sound like a long term solo career thing, that sounds like a one-off. And if you look at the next clue, Malik's portion of the Facebook status announcing his 1D-parture (get it?), there's even more evidence there that he'll be taking a breather from the music world instead of jumping right into a new foray.
My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.
You see that? Some private time out of the spotlight? He may change his mind, but as of right now it sounds like Malik is leaning toward a life of relative obscurity instead of a solo career. Makes total sense, and we hope he gets the rest and relaxation he needs before coming back into our lives
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