Zayn Malik, the former One Directioner gone rogue, had few words to share about One Direction's latest album Made in the A.M. when asked about it in a new Billboard interview released Thursday, but the words he chose spoke volumes.
Had he heard the album, which had been recorded without him and released two weeks before the interview? "Nah."
"I'll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool," Malik said. "I heard the second single and yeah, I didn't buy the album."
The post-One Direction world can be a cold, unforgiving place for the group's former fans.
It seems things there are a lot of issues between the former One Direction members. "I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody," Malik told Billboard. "But I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven't received calls from a lot of people. I've reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it's stuff you overcome in time."
Malik also offered a little more about why he left the band in the first place. He described his job recording and performing with the band as a "fucking machine going constantly," and described the band's sound "as good music, but I don't fuck with it. That was never cool where I was from."
"We weren't allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to," Malik said. "I'd sit and wonder, 'If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?' My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what's real, so why don't we write some stuff that we're actually going through?"
Needless to say, One Direction fans had a lot of opinions about the interview as a whole. Shortly after its the interview went live, the hashtag #ZaynOnBillboard shot to the top of the Twitter's trending charts. There were 346,000 tweets at the time of this article's publication.
Responses ranged from heartbroken:
To others feeling proud of him finally speaking his mind:
Some were just trying to the family together:
As for what he's up to now, Malik confirms he's hard at work on his own studio album, which he says is moving along quickly. "I'll come down here and record maybe seven songs a night," he shared. "That's because I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I'm not censoring myself anymore, so I'm not tired."
He may have some friendly (or not so friendly) competition come release time. Jay Z recently announced that he's interested in signing Harry Styles for his own solo record deal. The still-ravenous Directioner community will undoubtedly have a lot to say about that as well if (or when) the time comes.