If Zayn Malik could go back in time to live a normal life, he probably would.
Malik's entire interview with Highsnobiety centers around the topic of his super stardom, and it seems like it bothers him. Not the questions, but the fame.
“I hate the word celebrity,” he tells them. “I think it’s a dangerous road to go down, thinking of yourself as a celebrity, because then you somehow automatically think that label makes you superior to other people. Some people just want to hang around you because they know your name, so they think that means they know you, and I can see through that bullshit a mile off.”
It's something he'll never escape now, no matter how much he leaves private. Like refusing to answer a question about the Azealia Banks racial drama.
“Generally, I try not to comment on politics or controversial issues in public because I don’t think that it’s my place,” says Malik. “I struggle with the invasion of privacy that comes with this job. I also think one of the most negative aspects of being in the public eye is that you have no control over people’s perception of you.”
As for the reaction when announcing his departure from One Direction?
“It was great seeing the support I was getting from a lot of people, but there was also a lot of negativity and criticism and people talking shit about situations they knew nothing about,” said Malik. “Everyone has an opinion on social media, even though they don’t know you, and it gets exhausting. You get misquoted in the press or a bullshit rumor gets printed and it’s frustrating to watch people believe those things and form opinions on you based on what they read. I’ve learnt to ignore it for the most part, but it still pisses me off occasionally.”
He adds: “I try not to take [my actions] into consideration too much because if I did, I’d never do anything,” Malik proclaims. “It’s a lot of pressure. I never claimed to be a role model, I just make music.”