By Megan Daley
April 20, 2015 at 04:35 PM EDT
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Zayn Malik tweeted on Monday for the first time since his departure from One Direction to say a special “thank you” to those who have been there for him. 

Malik left the band late last month and has remained relatively tight-lipped publicly until this weekend when the singer thanked his former bandmates in an acceptance speech at the Asian Awards in London on Friday. 

“I’d also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys I ever met while being in the band,” Malik said, “and doing all the amazing things that I did. Some of the things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I thank you for that. Here’s to the future!”

The 22-year-old announced he would be leaving the band on his Facebook page citing a desire to be “normal” and “relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”