Malik talks about his new album, his non-existent relationship with the guys of One Direction and how he gets creative.

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Zayn Malik recalls the time he left One Direction.

And he’s still grateful to be out of it. In a new cover story with Billboard, Malik opens up about how his former 1D bandmates treat him, not buying Made in the A.M., the sound he’s aiming for on his new album and reveals several song titles.

“I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people,” he says of the guys. “The truth of it is, you can think one thing about a -situation and the total opposite can happen. I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, 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.”

Regardless, Zayn takes the higher road. “There are no sides to pick,” he says. “We’re not going head-to-head.”

He admits to not listening to Made in the A.M. and did not like their single “Perfect.” “I’ll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool. I heard the second single and” — he screws up his face — “yeah, I didn’t buy the album.”

RCA Chairman/CEO Peter Edge says in the interview he feels Zayn is further along musically than Harry Styles. “It [Malik’s new music] doesn’t feel like choreographed pop,…It’s widely rumored that Harry is working on a record….But it feels like maybe Zayn’s further along, musically.”

Several cuts off Malik’s new record, BeFour, includes “It’s You,” the whip-crack snare of
“Wrong” and a song titled “She.”

“I genuinely enjoyed [the band] and did whatever I could to be myself within that,” Malik added, “but it’s just not where I sit as a -musician,” he says. “The other boys’ taste was generally indie rock. It’s good music, but I don’t f— 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, says Malik. “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?”

Malik is Instagram official with Gigi Hadid. “I like girls that are a bit chunky in certain areas — the nice areas,” he says. “I like a fuller woman. I enjoy an intellectual conversation as well, where someone can construct a sentence beyond what hair and makeup they’re wearing, and talk about -something political or about the world. I like an opinion.”

Malik admits to getting focused by… smoking marijuana. Well, he burns sativa (the more energizing, cerebral strain of marijuana), because it’s “creative weed.”

Read the full interview here.

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