In the fall of 2015, after announcing that he will be leaving the world-renowned boy band One Direction to focus on his solo career and to live a more ‘private’ life, Zayn Malik got the exact opposite. When I first heard that Zayn was leaving One Direction. I didn’t give it two cares in the world. For me, One Direction wasn’t my first choice in music. However, for the millions of 13-year-olds that worship the boy band, the news may have been distressing.
Once departed from the band, Malik released his first single in January of this year titled, “Pillowtalk” which immediately shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The success of this single was not only a shock to millions of fans, but also to bystanders like myself. From the start, I knew I had to purchase this song. It was catchy, simple, yet meaningful and absolutely amazing.
With the worldwide success of the first single, the yearning, wanting and desire for more music from Zayn Malik was at an all-time high. That craving was finally satisfied on a day in March when Malik’s album entitled “Mind of Mine” dropped.
The album took a second to grow on me for a few reasons. I was expecting some spin off One D-type music, but Pillowtalk blew me out the water. While my mind was blown and my hunger for more new music was surprisingly high, I was not ready for this type of album from a One Direction alumni. This album is listed under pop, but like most new albums, you cannot limit it to one genre. “Mind of Mine” is pop, infused with trap elements, along with some R&B vocals and a little T-Swift sounding profound lyrical content. It took me a while to adjust to this type of art from Zayn, but once I removed my box that I placed on the singer in, I realized how amazing this album really is.
As I was listening to “Mind of Mine” I found myself replaying some songs before I even made it through the entire album. The catchy lyrics, melodies and experimental sounds is what hooked me. One of my top favorites on the album happens to be “Rear view,” which gave me that summer vibe, riding down to Seward, Alaska while getting that unequal drivers arm tan from the sun. The song seems to talk about being torn — you want to love someone. but can’t. The cadence in which Zayn was singing the chorus is what made me fall in love with this song at first listen.
Being the only male to ever debut a solo album and land at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 charts most likely voids Malik’s claim to want to live a more private life. This album alone solidified Zayn and placed him amongst the pop greats of today, which makes sense for someone coming from such a successful band. It makes me wonder if he really was trying to live a more private life or was this a come-up scheme. Either way, I am enjoying this piece of work.