Zayn Malik has yet to reveal a release date for his forthcoming debut album, but we now have a title: Mind of Mine.
The former One Direction singer revealed the title during a wide-ranging interview with Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. Their conversation, recorded in a stadium in his hometown of Bradford, England, covered what went into the making of the album, whether Malik will tour, and, yes, his perspective on leaving One Direction nearly one year later.
It didn’t take long for Malik to get “itchy feet” following his departure from the band, due to the rigorous touring and recording schedule of which he had become accustomed for nearly five years. Though the number of songs has been reduced from the whopping “46, 47” he initially wrote for the album, Mind of Mine is still set to be supersized; Malik says that the record — which, while finished, requires some final “bits and bats” — will feature “17–18” songs.
Malik was initially hesitant when the discussion turned to touring (“Eventually, yeah; we’ll see how the album does first, if people like it,” he said self-consciously), but he went on to admit that he’s looking forward to the idea following his much-needed time off. As one-fifth of One Direction, Malik performed on some of the biggest stages in the world, and Malik is open to the idea of occupying those huge venues once more. “Yeah, I do have that ambition,” he told Lowe, admitting that the experience would certainly be different. (Malik left 1D days before the band performed at their biggest venue ever, the 130,000-seat capacity FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.)
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The discussion ended, fittingly, on his time spent in One Direction, something which Malik perceives as being part of a separate, past life.
“The two things are very separate,” he told Lowe. “That was amazing. I did that for five years. I enjoyed it. We had some of the best times ever,” he said, but the music he’s making now is more reflective of what he grew up listening to. “This is the influence I had, this is what I had to say, and the two things are very separate. … You can listen to that and still understand that I appreciated that,” he added, referring to the band. “They’re just two completely separate things and this is now more fun for me, which is the main thing for me in my life — to have happiness, and to do something that makes me feel like I’ve got a sense of achievement from what I’m doing.
“I’m just looking forward to people being able to understand that and being able to see the two things as different things.”
In his first on-camera interview since leaving, his comments about the band were more measured than had previously been found in his cover stories for The Fader and Billboard, telling the former that the band’s music — which, at this point, is written primarily by his former colleagues, particularly Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson — is “generic as f—.” To Billboard, he “screw[ed] up his face” when asked for his opinion on the band’s second single from Made in the A.M., “Perfect,” and said that he “didn’t buy the album.” And in a sneak peek at the Beats 1 interview released Wednesday — which is helped by the added context in the full interview — Malik said that he never really wanted to be a part of the band, something he said was clear to his bandmates and the people close to him.
Malik’s debut single, “Pillowtalk,” drops Thursday at 9 p.m. PT on Beats 1. A video has been recorded, and is expected to be released soon thereafter. Mind of Mine is set for a March release.