Zayn Malik sought inspiration from Mortal Kombat for his MET Gala look, because of course, and received album feedback from Taylor Swift.
Malik recently cancelled his performance at Summertime Ball due to anxiety, so it's understandable why the former One Directioner is capable of opening up in a behind-the-scenes interview. His latest is with Dazed magazine, where he discusses getting inspired by MK character Jax, Prince, and the life changing revelation that Taylor Swift listened to his latest album Mind Of Mine. Life = changed.
“I don’t get much feedback from my peers. I spoke a bit to Taylor. At Gigi’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.”
“I was asked to design my own costume by Donatella Versace. It was cool. I had seen a few people hitting me online, saying negative things about it. But I enjoyed it because they were saying I looked like a dude from Mortal Kombat, and it was actually based on a character (from the video game series), called Jax. He had metal arms, and the theme was technology, so I just took it from him… It’s a bit easy to just dress up in a suit. I like to do things that are a bit outside of that.”
“A lot of starting references for me are technology and Prince. I’m conscious in the back of my head, of how he was sort of bold and fearless in the way he decided to dress. He created another world with the clothes he wore, and it gave him an otherworldly feel, which is all part of his legend, I guess,” he said.
“I was really upset with the fact that [Prince] passed away. But it’s nice that we can use things now to portray what inspired us about him. That was kind of what I was doing at the Met Ball… being fearless. But I was just having fun.”
“I don’t tend to go out much,” says Malik. “I stick to my own bubble, as it is. Creatively and socially, I think, as I’m getting older, that’s just the way I am.” At present, that bubble includes his girlfriend of several months, Gigi Hadid, and her much-hyped squad of famous, social media savvy, millennial one-percenters. “I don’t get much feedback from my peers. I spoke a bit to Taylor,” he says, invoking the name of the imperial Swift. “At Gigi’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.”
It seems that, despite nearly five wildly successful years in the spotlight with One Direction, Malik hasn’t adjusted much to hobnobbing with the rich and famous. “I haven’t done much acclimatin’,” he says in his throaty, northern English baritone. “I’m just staying the way that I am. I think that’s the best way to keep your sanity. You’ve got to hold on to what you are and not let things get to your head, because if you do, that’s when everything comes crashing down terribly.”
Read the full interview here.