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Zayn Malik Says He's 'Free at Last' in 'Dazed' Cover Feature

Zayn Malik Says He's 'Free at Last' in 'Dazed' Cover Feature

Zayn Malik takes the cover of Dazed magazine’s Summer 2016 issue, which hits newsstands on Thursday (June 16).

Here’s what the 23-year-old “Pillowtalk” singer had to share with the mag:

On getting Taylor Swift’s approval on his album Mind of Mine: “At Gigi [Hadid]’s house we briefly spoke and she told me she really enjoyed the album. It was nice to get some feedback. She said she thought I was cool and I kind of blushed a bit and didn’t know how to take it.”

On leaving One Direction: “I know that musicians are seen as one-sided people a lot of the time, but we do have other elements to us as well. I didn’t feel good. Do you know what I mean?… You need to be able to express what it is that you are. I’m free at last.”

On his love of writing: “I have always liked language and the way you can say a certain thing in a certain way and it can be perceived so differently by whoever is listening, because of whatever time they are at in their life.”

For more from Zayn, please visit DazedDigital.com.

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Photos: Dazed
Posted to: Magazine, Zayn Malik

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  • Gina

    That part about Taylor Swift made me gag. I’m glad there’s no video of this interview because I doubt he’d be able to say that with a straight face. Zayn doesn’t seem like the type to give a damn about what Taylor Swift thinks of him.

  • Khazija

    I really liked this interview compared to the others. Of course, the media is taking snippets and excerpts by spinning around it so the haters can pounce by reading into some kind of angle and some of the headlines are quite misleading. He barely discusses 1D and there was one mention of Taylor. People should read the actual full interview.

    He makes references to his heritage and what influences him as a musician. I liked how he discussed the process around writing and singing Flower. It is an interesting and reflective interview. He also commented on how the tragic passing of Prince affected him.

  • Angela Ryan
  • Tricia7 ❤

    Thank God almighty he’s free at last!

  • Magyar Zoltán

    You are free but since you left the 1D you are just talking about your solo work but not doing anything else just talking and how bad it was being in the band. You constantly bashin your old team mates and the people who helped you get there wher you are without them you would be selling burgers in the Mcdonald’s. The only thing is keeping you in the tabloids is your girlfriend who has no selfrespect and dating a guy who just using her name.

  • Ash

    Taylor Swift approval? Of all the people, really Zayn? Okay let’s cut the crap. Deep down we know and you know that you’re not quite gonna make it as a solo artist so that’s why you have to constantly bash your former band and take off your shirt as often as you can to stay relevant.

  • Gina

    Read the interview, honey. He barely talks about 1D. When he did, it was because he was asked about them. As far as his “girlfriend” goes, she’s the queen of using others for fame and publicity. She started “dating” Zayn to acquire his fan base, and it worked; her social media followers jumped significantly. She’s gained far more out of this than Zayn has. Tommy Hilfiger even admits that he offered Gigi a clothing line based solely on the fact that she gained so much attention from starring in Zayn’s music video & subsequently “dating” him.

  • Gina

    Riiight, because he doesn’t have a record label & a team of people pressuring him to do these things to sell records. He’s not an independent artist, hon; he’s beholden to the higher ups.

  • Ash

    You’re right. I forgot he is their bit*h now.

  • Gina

    He’s not a b*tch, but you sure as hell are.

  • Khazija

    This is terrible spin and over the top trashing.

    The truth about why Zayn left is far worse than what has been publicly disclosed yet directioners are lashing out at him over what little he has mentioned. He has done nothing but protect them and take the fall for the situation as well attribute the blame onto himself. The fact that people act like Zayn can’t discuss his experiences or feelings at all over the matter when his former team made look like the villain with all sorts of malicious articles planted, is beyond atrocious.

    I hope one day Zayn can speak more freely and not let brainwashed haters censor him. Obviously, his hands are tied with the current situation. I do hope he can authentically discuss his experiences with 1D in more detail in the future ( which he ethically has the right to do) because it is not fair how he has been awfully misperceived in this situation due to imposed narratives and current contracts.

    He hasn’t bashed them at all and this is serious reaching. The fact that people have this entitlement where they want the truth to be covered up 100% is sickening because 1D and Little Mix’s team has no problem with demonizng and exploiting Zayn for PR. Yet people are lashing out with this over the top aggressivness against Zayn when he has mentioned less than 1% about what he endured. What he had to endure from people he trusted was cruel to a massive degree.

    Zayn’s talent and hard work got him to where he was. He overcame a lot of struggles that you know nothing about. They all auditioned as solo artists. He auditioned and took on what initially appeared like a great opportunity. Over time, it turned into a toxic situation.

    Then the way you are discrediting him as a human being and artist is so nasty. Your takeaway from this interview is warped and inaccurate. Zayn is going to talk about his music, life, and feelings. DEAL with it. Bullies are not going to shut him up forever. Your fantasies about 1D are far from accurate.

  • Khazija

    This is incredibly false and cruel of you to say especially in light of what has happened. Zayn’s music is exceptional. Mind of Mine was a wonderful and impressive album that is Grammy worthy. Zayn is an incredibly talented and passionate vocalist who is trying his best to endure and overcome the many obstacles that are being thrown his way. The majority of his fanbase has been proud of what he has been able to accomplish. There has been acclaim and records broken. Zayn Malik is here to stay despite your blind bitterness and bias against him.

    As time goes on, I hope Zayn is able to actually discuss what he experienced in the band with more detail instead of taking the fall for what went down. It is not fair that he was scapegoated and demonized by a false narrative. Zayn barely mentioned anything about them. All he said was that he didn’t feel good in the band and can explore the type of music he wants to make in this interview and you are trashing him viciously. Directioners had no issue with any of the shade or ugly articles planted against him that degraded Zayn.

    People are still horrible enough to find what little they can to police him and try to muzzle him. I am tired of Zayn being mistreated and misportrayed while the general public was hoodwinked with this attitude spread by the smear campaign, that acts like Zayn shouldn’t be allowed to say anything about it. There will be a time where situations regarding your precious 1D won’t always be protected.

    Zayn has the right to take his shirt off like any other male artist out there. You are finding the most trite reasons to mock him.

    He has already made it as a solo artist. Zayn will gain more achievements as time goes on. He is strong and bold.

  • Khazija

    The victim blaming here is terrible. I guess you know nothing about contracts and control from managements/PR teams/labels. Do some research on how the industry works.

  • jh7058622

    Then why say it at all…. I know now why I do not like his music…. Taylor Swift approves. That’s the equivalent of your parents approving of your girlfriend/boyfriend as a teenager.

  • Gina

    It’s a transparent move by his PR team to not only name-drop Gigi but name-drop Taylor & get more people on board with his music because Queen Taylor approves. He hardly does video interviews because he’s not a good liar. The best way to get the message out is via magazine articles where his team can construct the answers to their liking.

  • Glyn Ruck

    Zayn is not dissing 1D, he is dissing their rotten management. All the guys feel the same way including Harry. That’s why he moved to Azoff! Why are people too dumb to understand the difference!

  • jh7058622

    True but he’s been friends with her for years from how I understand it. He really could have done this. That being said the blushing comment was just ott.

  • Cass

    The full interview was much more than this little blurb here on JJ. The Taylor mention and the 1D mentions are not the focus of it at all. it was a lovely interview that was about Zayn opening up more about writing, his music, and life.

  • Gina

    Well “friend” is a strong word. He knows Taylor from her days of PR stunting with Harry Styles.

  • Aliyah

    I love that Zayn talks about his culture in these recent interviews. He’s so proud of his heritage. You can hear the sufi influence in Intermission : Flower. I also loved the part about his writing. He’s so passionate about getting that English degree. I hope it works out for him. Great interview.

  • An

    The world doesn’t revolve around Taylor Swift and One Direction, but it seems like that is all the media took from Zayn’s interview. It is a shame, because there were a lot of things discussed by Zayn which I found far more intriguing, such as his heritage, humble upbringing, interest in language, and musical influences. Zayn also showcased his artistry through his genuine passion and dedication of being a musician and what that entails.

  • An

    What exactly are you reading? Zayn has not criticised any member of One Direction, or anyone associated with the brand in any of his interviews. That is a silly remark to make; I doubt Zayn would be working at McDonald’s if he wasn’t a part of the band. Besides, Zayn is the one who made Gigi more famous, so it is her who is using his name.

  • aj

    This was an interesting interview where Zayn discusses a lot of topics relating to his music and personality. We also hear about why Zayn wanted to select RCA. We gain more insights into Zayn the musician and what makes him tick. The media keeps taking select soundbytes and projecting their spin onto it. Zayn is an introvert and is being honest about who he is and what drives him. He continues to display how mature, grounded, and reflective he is but people deliberately try to misperceive him.

    It is a shame that people try to aggressively and unfairly impose censorship against Zayn as to what he can discuss. He shouldn’t have to mask his emotions and he has expressed a great deal of restraint when it comes to commenting on One Direction ( due to contractual limitations). Zayn shouldn’t have to pretend everything was fine when it wasn’t and he has been restricted as to what he has been able to say while the opposing side manipulated the general public with an inaccurate version so people will have the WRONG idea as to who was actually victimized. One day, people’s delusions about what went down will be shattered.

  • aj

    This was an interesting interview where Zayn discusses a lot of topics relating to his music and personality. We also hear about why Zayn wanted to select RCA. We gain more insights into Zayn the musician and what makes him tick. The media keeps taking select soundbytes and projecting their spin onto it. Zayn is an introvert and is being honest about who he is and what drives him. He continues to display how mature, grounded, and reflective he is but people deliberately try to misperceive him.

    It is a shame that people try to aggressively and unfairly impose censorship against Zayn as to what he can discuss. He shouldn’t have to mask his emotions and he has expressed a great deal of restraint when it comes to commenting on One Direction ( due to contractual limitations). Zayn shouldn’t have to pretend everything was fine when it wasn’t and he has been restricted as to what he has been able to say while the opposing side manipulated the general public with an inaccurate version so people will have the WRONG idea as to who was actually victimized. One day, people’s delusions about what went down will be shattered.

  • aj

    This was an interesting interview where Zayn discusses a lot of topics relating to his music and personality. We also hear about why Zayn wanted to select RCA. We gain more insights into Zayn the musician and what makes him tick. The media keeps taking select soundbytes and projecting their spin onto it. Zayn is an introvert and is being honest about who he is and what drives him. He continues to display how mature, grounded, and reflective he is but people deliberately try to misperceive him.

    It is a shame that people try to aggressively and unfairly impose censorship against Zayn as to what he can discuss. He shouldn’t have to mask his emotions and he has expressed a great deal of restraint when it comes to commenting on One Direction ( due to contractual limitations). Zayn shouldn’t have to pretend everything was fine when it wasn’t and he has been restricted as to what he has been able to say while the opposing side manipulated the general public with an inaccurate version so people will have the WRONG idea as to who was actually victimized. One day, people’s delusions about what went down will be shattered.

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