ZAYN Wikia
ZAYN Wikia

Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik (Urdu: زین جواد ملک‬ ; born January 12, 1993), also known mononymously as Zayn, is an English singer and songwriter, and is a former member of the British-Irish band One Direction. He left the band on March 25, 2015, to pursue a solo music career. His debut solo album, Mind of Mine, was released on March 25, 2016.

Early life

Zayn was born in West Lane, Baildon, Bradford, England. He is of English and Pakistani descent. He was born to British-Pakistani father Yaser Malik and English mother Patricia. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He and his family are Muslim. Zayn grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. He was a student at Lower Fields Primary School in East Bowling and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school.

Zayn's mother, Trisha, told the BBC in 2013 about her son's religious upbringing, stating “I made sure the children went to the mosque. Zayn has read the Holy Quran three times.” When Zayn was growing up, Trisha worked as a halal chef at a primary school, cooking meals for Muslim children.[1]

Musical Career

One Direction

In 2010, at the age of 17, Zayn auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of The X Factor. He revealed in the film This Is Us and in his 2015 Fader magazine interview that he would not have gone to his audition if his mother hadn't dragged him out of bed that morning. He stated he went to the audition because he "felt like I owed her".

Zayn sang "Let Me Love You", a 2004 hit by R&B singer Mario. All three judges — Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger — gave him a 'yes'. His audition was initially not broadcast, but was later shown briefly on The Xtra Factor.

Zayn was noted for becoming nervous and withdrawn in bootcamp, and famously refused to participate in a dance segment until personally encouraged by Simon Cowell. He passed the dance stage but failed to proceed past bootcamp, where he was initially eliminated as a solo artist, but brought back to be added to the group that would become One Direction. Following their placing third on The X Factor, One Direction signed a record contract with Sony Music subsidiary Syco Music, releasing 4 #1 albums and completing 4 world tours in 4 years.


On March 25, 2015, One Direction's official Facebook account announced in a statement that Malik had permanently departed from the band, citing his desire to live life away from the spotlight. Additionally, in an interview with The Sun[2], he further explained that he "didn't feel like himself anymore" and that he had been unhappy for a while, having only continued because of the fans. His former bandmates echoed his words in their October/November promo campaign for Made in the A.M., stating he "fell out of love with the music" and they could tell he was increasingly unhappy within the band. They have stated many times they are stronger than ever now and Zayn has told media he is happy now.

In January 2016, Zayn elaborated on his departure saying he never really wanted to be in a band, as he auditioned for X Factor as a solo artist, but stayed with 1D as long as he could. He credited the other band members with trying to give him R&B ad-libs in their songs so he would enjoy performing more, but it became more evident as time went on that he would eventually leave.

Zayn also spoke out about strict management, saying the band was constantly told what to do, how to keep their appearances and how to sound, saying they were not free to write whatever they wanted. Zayn said there was no room for him to express himself musically the way he wanted to, because the band's sound was distinctly pop-rock rather than R&B. In November 2016, Zayn revealed to Evening Standard Magazine that he did not write the official exit statement posted to Facebook, saying "Like, look how it’s worded. I’m not a 35-year-old lawyer. I don’t write like that".

In April 2017, Harry Styles told Rolling Stone magazine: "I think it's a shame Zayn felt that way, but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you're not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I'm glad he's doing what he likes, and good luck to him".[3]

Solo Career


Zayn was photographed in a recording studio two days after leaving One Direction. He officially signed with RCA Records on July 29, 2015. However, it was revealed upon the release of his first single, "Pillowtalk", that his music was still owned by Simon Cowell's record label, SimCo, who were licensing Zayn's songs to RCA.

Zayn told Fader Magazine that reintroducing himself as a Muslim pop star with creative freedom was his main priority with the new album. Speaking about how the album will sound, Zayn stated "The album—I have a name for it in my head right now, but I don’t want to tell you what it is, all the songs are different genres. They don't really fit a specific type of music. They're not like, 'This is funk, this is soul, this is upbeat, this is dance tune.' Nothing is like that. I don't really know what my style is yet. I'm kind of just showing what my influences are. Depending on what the reaction is, then I'll go somewhere with that. If people like that I'm a bit more R&B, then I'll do more R&B on my next album. If they like the fact that there's reggae on there, I might do more reggae. It's just depending on what they want and what I feel comfortable with at the time. I might even have a rock tune on the album, but it's kind of like R&B-rock."



Zayn confirmed via Twitter on January 23, 2016, that his debut single "Pillowtalk" would be released on January 29, 2016. The music video premiered on MTV later that night, and featured real life girlfriend Gigi Hadid. Zayn told The Sunday Times about the song stating “Everybody has sex, and it’s something people wanna hear about. It’s part of everybody’s life, a very BIG part of life! And you don’t wanna sweep it under the carpet". "Pillowtalk" was hugely successful, debuting at #1 on iTunes in 90 countries, and making Zayn only one of two male artists to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. As of July 2016, Zayn has not yet performed the song live. After continued speculation, a spokesperson eventually clarified this was because Zayn does not like how "Pillowtalk" sounds live.

Zayn's debut solo album, Mind of Mine, was released on March 25, 2016 - a year to the day he left One Direction. He became the first UK male artist to debut at #1 in the US and UK. Zayn subsequently released music videos for album tracks 'It's You' and 'Befour', and released 'Like I Would' as the second official single, which he performed at the 2016 IHeartRadio awards. He performed a set at Wango Tango on May 14 in California. Zayn was scheduled to perform at the Capital FM Summertime Ball but cancelled at the last minute citing "the worst anxiety of my career". It was announced on May 17 that Zayn wa to perform in Dubai on October 11. Zayn confirmed 'Wrong' as his third single from Mind of Mine, though he did not end up promoting it. In July, Zayn posed for music publications Dazed and Paper. He was also interviewed by Glamour magazine where he, when asked why he left One Direction, stated "An alien spoke to me in a dream...".

On July 14, 2016, electro-R&B duo Snakehips released "Cruel", which featured Zayn on vocals. On the same day, the Ghostbusters film soundtrack was released, featuring a track by Zayn titled "wHo". He was featured on Netflix's The Get Down soundtrack, on the track "You Can't Hide", released August 12, 2016. In the same month, men's magazine GQ released an exclusive new photoshoot and interview with Zayn. On September 1, English rapper M.I.A. released a single called "Freedun", featuring Zayn. M.I.A spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the collaboration, stating "We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn….We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him. We’ve just been going back and forth on, you know, WhatsApp.”

Zayn was originally scheduled to perform at the 2016 Capital FM Summertime Ball but cancelled at the last minute, citing "the worst anxiety of my career". A scheduled October concert in Dubai was also cancelled due to his continued anxiety. As of December 2018, Zayn is yet to perform live again.

On December 09, Zayn surprise released a duet with Taylor Swift, titled "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. He confirmed a music video would be released during a December 14 radio interview with SiriusXM's Hits 1. In the same interview, Zayn revealed he was working on his second album. The music video premiered on January 27, 2017 and featured Zayn and Taylor trashing their hotel rooms. The video quickly acquired over 100 million views by March 2017. The single peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The collaboration with Swift was a top 5 hit worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy in 2018.

Zayn released an autobiographical book, simply titled ZAYN. He attended the 2016 American Music Awards, where he won New Artist of the Year, and briefly greeted former bandmate Niall with a handshake. Zayn posed for and was interview by a number of magazines throughout the year including Dazed, GQ, Paper, The Evening Standard and Glamour.


Malik at the sets of Ocean's Eight

On January 17 2017, Zayn was seen on the sets of Ocean's Eight, filming his cameo in the American heist comedy film, which was released on June 08, 2018. On February 14 2017, Zayn released a smartphone emoji app called Zaynmoji. The app features small animations of Malik's face, based on his career and various hair and clothing styles. Zayn established himself as a fashion industry figure, releasing a shoe line in collaboration with Giuseppe, and a clothing line in collaboration with Versace.

On March 05, 2017, Zayn won Best Music Video at the IHeartRadio Awards, for "Pillowtalk". On March 7 2017, Zayn's single with Taylor Swift - "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. On March 23 2017, Zayn released a single titled "Still Got Time" with Canadian rapper PARTYNEXTDOOR. His label, RCA Records, confirmed via press release that Zayn's second studio album would be released in summer. "Still Got Time" music video premiered on April 21, 2017 and featured a raucous party held in Zayn's actual London residence. On May 21, Zayn won Top New Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.

Malik and Swift's, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", was nominated for Best Collaboration by MTV Video Music Awards. The single won the award and Zayn released an 18 - second clip about an upcoming single.

On September 01, 2017, Zayn and Sia announced their upcoming single, titled "Dusk Till Dawn", through their social media platforms. It was first announced as the second single from Malik's then upcoming second studio album, but was later omitted. The single was released on September 07, 2017 for the film The Mountain Between Us and was a top 20 hit worldwide. Since then Zayn has appeared in numerous interviews, talking about his upcoming album.


Zayn was interviewed by Elle India in February 2018, in which he talked about his love for Bollywood industry, especially praising the actor, Shah Rukh Khan, stating that he loves his movies. His favorite movie is Devdas and his favorite song is "Chaiyyan Chaiyyan". The Bollywood actor also showed his love for Malik on twitter.[4]

Zayn has been releasing covers of songs on his Instagram account, out of which the most recognized was "Teri Deewani"[5] and "Allah Ke Bande"[6] by Kailash Kher. Kher stated that, "If Zayn is a real fan of Kailasa (Kailash's band), we have our digital academy coming up. There will be a course dedicated to all our compositions, including Teri Deewani and all our superhits. To know the correct notes and nuances, he can join (the academy) and enroll himself. It will help him to improve his skills. Then we can jam together in future."

On April 12, 2018, Zayn released "Let Me", the lead single from his second album. He also premiered the music video simultaneously. It was reported on April 18, 2018 that Zayn's management had dumped him from their client roster after he refused to tour. The reports remain unconfirmed.

Malik uploaded teasers, announcing a new single soon. On May 23, 2018, Zayn released "Entertainer", as the second single from his second studio album. The accompanying music video was released along with the video. On May 07, 2018, Zayn received a Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) award for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever".

On June 29, 2018, Zayn released a cover of Beyoncé's track, "Me, Myself and I" and announced that the album is "on the way".[7] Malik went on to release the cover for Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" in early July. Later, on July 13, 2018, Malik released the cover for Jhené Aiko's "Bed Peace".

On July 18, 2018 Zayn released "Sour Diesel" as the third official single from his second studio album and announced via Twitter that the song's accompanying music video would be available exclusively on Apple Music. Malik went on to release "Too Much" featuring American record producer Timbaland, as the fourth single from his, then yet-to-be-announced second album on August 02, 2018. "Fingers" served as the fifth single and was released on October 18, 2018. Zayn encouraged fans to upload videos of themselves dancing to the song with the hashtag #FingersDance as a challenge that they could potentially win a gift.

A sixth single, titled "No Candle No Light" featuring Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj, was released on November 15, 2018. "Let Me" was a top 20 success in the UK, however the remaining singles did not commercially perform. On November 20, Zayn released a cover of a Hindi song, "Allah Duhai Hai" which received praise from fans worldwide.

On November 29, the title and the release date of Zayn's much awaited and delayed album was announced. The album, known as Icarus Falls, was set to be released on December 14, which unexpectedly coincided with One Direction's last performance as a group before going on the indefinite hiatus three years prior.

"Rainberry" was released as the album's first promotional single on November 30, 2018 after the album became available to pre-order on iTunes.[8] On December 06, the song "Good Years" was released as the second promotional single.[9] "There You Are" was released on December 12, as the third promotional single from the album.[10][11] On December 14, Icarus Falls was released worldwide.


On January 09, 2019, Zayn released the music video of "Satisfaction", which was directed by Pillowtalk-director, Bouha Kazmi.

In April, Zayn released a music video for "Stand Still", and continued collaborating with fashion label Penshoppe on their 2019 campaign. In May, Zayn collaborated with American singer Zhavia Ward on a cover of the Aladdin theme song "A Whole New World", for the 2019 live-action remake film. The single was well-received, garnering over 10 million views on YouTube in 48 hours. Zayn also released two collaboration, Trampoline and Flames a short while after that. He also posted tweets supporting Malala Yousafzai's campaign for girl education, earning a lot of positive feedback from the fans.


Nobody Is Listening is the third studio album, it was released on 15 January 2021 through RCA Records.[1][1][2]nobody-is-listening. The album features guest appearances from Syd and Devlin. The album is preceded by the singles "Better" and "Vibez". Upon release, Nobody Is Listening received generally favorable reviews from critics; the album peaked at number 44 on the US Billboard 200 and number 17 on the UK Albums Chart.The album's artwork is designed by Zayn himself and is inspired by expressionism and graffiti.[3] The cover was revealed on his website along with the CD pre-order on 8 January 2021.The album contains eleven tracks including the two singles. Zayn said to have "total creative rein" on the project, as well as "making the music he has always wanted to".[4]Bodegon, Kara (7 January 2021) In an interview with Entertainment Daily, Zayn described the album as his "most personal project to date".[5][2]


Zayn is identified to be the strongest vocalist among his former group, as Brad Nelson of The Guardian writes that "He was one of the more accomplished vocalists of the group, exhibiting the widest range. He mostly inhabited a silvery, full-bodied tenor, similar to but more sharp and precise than Harry Styles’ smoky warble." and asserted that his departure would leave "a void of vocal agility".


In 2016 Malik made his debut on The Business of Fashion's annual BoF500 index, which profiles the most influential people in fashion. In January 2017, he released a shoe line with Italian footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti. The Giuseppe for Zayn capsule collection featured four shoe styles - two boots and two sneakers.

In February 2017 the Versus (Versace) Spring Summer 2017 campaign featuring Malik and model Adwoah Aboah was released. In the same month he co-hosted the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s Americans in Paris annual cocktail during Paris Fashion Week. Donatella Versace, the chief designer of Versace, appointed Malik as the creative director for a men and women's capsule collection entitled Zayn x Versus, which have been available since May 2017.

In September 2018, Malik designed a backpack line for the Kooples.


He is an official ambassador of the British Asian Trust charity group, contributing to improving the lives of disadvantaged people living in South Asia. With his former group One Direction, he contributed to African fundraising events with Comic Relief. In April 2014, Malik donated his guitar to the Kean's Children Fund in Dundee, Scotland. The charity founder Charlie Kean was organising an online auction for the guitar and the money raised from the auction will be used to buy iPads for the children's ward at Ninewells. In March 2016, he bought a box at Bradford City for underprivileged children to watch football, named after his maternal grandfather Walter Brannan.


Malik cites urban music as his main musical influence, having grown up predominantly with R&B, hip hop, and reggae, as well as bop and Bollywood music. He was influenced by his father's urban records, including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, R. Kelly, Usher, Donell Jones, Prince, 2Pac, Biggie, Gregory Isaacs, Yellowman and Chris Brown. Malik originally auditioned to be a solo R&B singer, before becoming part of One Direction. His R&B singing style stood out compared to the band's pop rock style; he later cited creative differences as a reason for leaving the band.[10] His solo work leans towards R&B, alternative R&B  and electropop, and occasionally other genres, such as electro-R&B dance music ("Like I Would") hip hop ("Pillowtalk" remix where Malik is rapping and rap-singing with Lil Wayne), neo-soul ("Truth"), reggae ("Do Something Good"), and Qawwali ghazal ("Flower" where he uses Qawwali vocal techniques such as vocal elisions and warbling)

Malik possesses a wide tenor vocal range, and is known for his belting and falsetto singing techniques and hitting high notes with his vocals. He was regarded by Jamieson Cox in Time as the band's strongest singer. Brad Nelson of The Guardian wrote "He was one of the more accomplished vocalists of the group, exhibiting the widest range. He mostly inhabited a silvery, full-bodied tenor, similar to but more sharp and precise than Harry Styles' smoky warble", asserting that his departure would leave "a void of vocal agility"


Main article: Zayn (Book)

On September 13 2016, Zayn announced that an official autobiography called Zayn would be released. Previews from the book appeared online in the weeks following the announcement. The official description states "ZAYN is going to tell and show all in this intimate and raw scrapbook of his life. Never-before-released photos give readers insight to ZAYN, no-holds-barred. Gorgeously designed with hundreds of full-colour photographs and Zayn’s notes, drawings, song lyrics, and personal stories, the book captures Zayn’s most private moments and his candid feelings on fame, success, music, and life[12]."

Public image

Malik was known as the "Bradford Bad Boy" of One Direction, due to his mischievous behaviour, scandals, many tattoos, graffiti art, and rock star hairstyles.[13] Since prior to X-Factor, Malik has been a fan of tattoos, saying that he likes "getting tattoos and that he loves the whole culture behind them."[14]

His first tattoo was revealed on his Twitter account. Malik got his maternal grandfather's name inked in Arabic: والتر (Walter). Since then, Malik has had several more tattoos. Discussing Malik's possible solo career after leaving the boyband, Billboard editor Joe Lynch described him as "the quiet one in the group [...] never the one to grab the spotlight during interviews. He typically saved his words for the songs, not for media soundbytes."[15]

In 2011, he was ranked number 27 on Glamour's "World's Sexiest Men" list. In 2014, Malik was voted British GQ's best dressed male. In 2015, he was voted the "Sexiest Male In Pop" in a poll by British radio network Capital, voted the "World's Sexiest Asian Man" in a worldwide poll by British newspaper Eastern Eye, voted second place in a poll of the "World’s top ten bachelors" by Manchester's Crown Clinic, and ranked number six on MTV's "50 sexiest men alive" list. In 2016, he was ranked number five on Glamour magazine's "100 Sexiest Men" list. As of April 2016, Forbes estimates his online social media following (across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pandora) to be 50 million users. Malik's fandom is known as Zquad. In 2016, Malik was voted again as the "World's Sexiest Asian Man" in a worldwide poll by the British newspaper Eastern Eye.

As of October 2016, Zayn has joined Wattpad.

Personal Life

Malik has grown up as a Muslim. He speaks English and Urdu, and can read Arabic. He has been the target of anti-Muslim slurs, which led to him deleting his Twitter account in 2012. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, Malik posted the message "#FreePalestine" on Twitter, resulting in him receiving angry responses and death threats. He has since avoided publicly expressing political views. He said that, after the release of his debut album, he plans to pursue an academic degree in English or literature (which he originally intended to study before his music career), while at the same time writing his next album.

He is an official ambassador of the British Asian Trust charity group, contributing to improving the lives of disadvantaged people living in South Asia. With his former group One Direction, he contributed to African fundraising events with Comic Relief. In March 2016, he bought a box at Bradford City for underprivileged children to watch football, named after his maternal grandfather Walter Brannan. As of April 2015, shortly after he left One Direction, the BBC speculated that Malik's net worth was £25 million ($38 million). As of April 2016, Gigwise speculated that his net worth was £30 million ($46 million).


Zayn's parents are Yaser Malik and Trisha Malik. He also has three sisters. Zayn credits his father's music taste as a big influence on his own singing and songwriting. In the One Direction film This Is Us, Zayn is shown buying a house for his entire family and he states this was the entire reason he wanted to be a successful entertainer, so he could give back to and provide for his family.


Zayn currently has three dogs, Boris, Rhino and Marley. An attack dog was mentioned in his November 2015 Fader interview, but has never been photographed.

Ex-girlfriend Perrie Edwards kept the two dogs they bought while they were still dating.


Geneva Lane


Zayn dated fellow The X Fa ctor contestant Geneva Lane briefly in 2010. At the time, he was 17 and she was 20. They grew close during their time on the show. However, due to Simon Cowell's strict ban against the contestants dating, they denied there was a relationship. At the season seven finale, they finally revealed themselves as a couple when cameras captured them kissing. Zayn later confirmed on Twitter that they were together.[16] After the break up, Geneva said, "Zayn's a heartbreaker. When I found out he was seeing Rebecca I felt numb." In a November 2011 interview she said that she and Zayn remained friends, but didn't talk much because of his busy schedule.

Rebecca Ferguson

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In 2011, Zayn began dating The X Factors season seven runner-up, Rebecca Ferguson when he was 18, and she was 23. Their relationship drew media attention because of the six year age difference. They met while they were on The X Factor, but Rebecca stated that "It took a while before we looked at each other in a different light. There was no one particular moment, it just evolved over time." Zayn was the one who pursued Rebecca. The relationship ended after four months in July 2011 with Rebecca stating at the time, "Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best." However, in an interview in October 2012, Zayn opened up about the relationship by saying, "It shouldn't have happened. It was just a wrong idea from the start. It did end quite badly, so we don't talk any more. We're not in touch at all." Since then, Rebecca has alluded various times that Zayn was unfaithful.

Perrie Edwards


Zayn was previously engaged to Perrie Edwards of The X Factor winning group, Little Mix. They met when One Direction performed on the show. Zayn revealed in various interviews he had a crush on Perrie. In May 2012, Zayn confirmed they were a couple after paparazzi pictures of them kissing and riding a scooter were published. On August 18, 2013, after a weekend together, Zayn proposed. Zayn told fans at a soundcheck during the Australian leg of the Take Me Home Tour, he proposed in front os his and Perrie's parents in their garden during a specially set up "Outdoor Movie Night"[17]

On August 4th, 2015, it was confirmed Zayn and Perrie had officially split up. Zayn called off the engagement, ending the relationship in July. In his November 2015 interview with Fader magazine, Zayn denied rumors he broke up with Perrie via text message, stating “I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that.” Zayn also spoken about the relationship in his autobiography saying “It was March 2015. I had been in a bad place for a while and I didn’t see myself getting out of it unless I made a change. My relationship with my fiancée, Perrie, was breaking down. To make matters worse, there were so many crazy stories flying around in the newspapers about us, and it felt like such an invasion of privacy, it made me just want to disappear for a while.”

Gigi Hadid


On November 23, 2015, media outlets began reporting Zayn was dating supermodel Gigi Hadid. They were photographed together a few days later.[18] Gigi appeared in Zayn's first solo music video for his song Pillowtalk, as his love interest. In February 2016, Zayn officially confirmed Gigi was his girlfriend in a radio interview with Zach Sang.[19] The couple often post pictures together, or of one another, on Instagram and Snapchat. On May 2, the pair attended the 2016 MET Gala together, with Zayn wearing metallic arms over his tuxedo. Subsequently, they still appeared together in public. In July 2016, Zayn spoke to Elle UK about their relationship and compatibility. They attended the American Music Awards together in November 2016, and collaborated together on Zayn's Versace fashion line, Versus, in March 2017.

The couple parted ways in March 2018 releasing both statements on social media. Zayn wrote on Twitter: “Gigi and I had an incredibly meaningful, loving and fun relationship and I have a huge amount of respect and adoration for Gigi as a woman and a friend. She has such an incredible soul. I'm grateful to all of our fans for respecting this difficult decision and our privacy at this time. We wish this news would have come from us first. We love you all.”

In April, after almost a month after their split, rumors sparkled about getting them together again after Zayn had been photographed arriving at the Gigi’s apartment in the afternoon and then leaving the next morning. On April 29, they were photographed kissing. Later on, it was confirmed via Hadid that the duo are back together. Now, Zayn has a daughter with Gigi, who was born on 23rd September 2020. The couple have decided to name their daughter Khai. Gigi made the reveal in the most subtle way by changing her Instagram bio to add 'Khai's mom'.


Leaked Video

In May 2014, a video recorded in April by former One Direction bandmate Louis, was leaked by The Daily Mail. The footage showed Zayn and Louis, alongside other members of their management team, smoking cannabis while being driven to a concert in Peru. The footage contained Zayn criticizing One Direction's official merchandise, stating that both the band and the fans were growing tired of it pandering to a much younger audience, devoid of any artistic creativity. Louis received media backlash for apparently using racial slurs. No member of the band has ever publicly commented on the incident, or the video, but Liam offered an apology on their behalf on Twitter, a few days after the video leaked. It was speculated in early 2015 that Zayn and Louis may be charged for using illegal drugs but nothing eventuated.

Closeting Rumors

As is the case for Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, many fans speculated that Zayn was in a relationship with fellow bandmate Liam Payne. The rumors began based on their behaviour towards one another, which was very personal and intimate. In numerous interviews, Zayn showed off a specific knowledge of Liam and his family, that the other band members did not. Liam is the only member Zayn has remained in contact with since leaving the band. When Zayn's engagement to Perrie was announced, Liam seemed particularly unenthusiastic about it in interviews.

One particularly awkward interview saw him stumbling over his words while saying "I don't think [the wedding] will happen...I think you'll...lose the rings...". In another, Louis was asked to describe Liam in five words. As Louis listed his, Zayn could be heard whispering "brave.." to himself. Many speculated that because One Direction and Little Mix both had the same management and were both overseen by Simon Cowell, that Zayn's relationship with Perrie was PR for each band, and a cover-up for Zayn's alleged relationship with Liam. Fans speculate the same about Zayn's relationship with Gigi Hadid, as Gigi often appears to briefly date male artists who are about to release albums, likely to raise their profile via her fame.

Naughty Boy

Main article: Naughty Boy

Zayn had a brief working relationship with producer Naughty Boy (real name Shahid Khan) from early 2014 to mid 2015. While Naughty Boy is currently signed with Virgin EMI, he has ties to Syco Music and is friends with Simon Cowell. Tension was reported to have risen between One Direction and Naughty Boy after they did not feature any of his songs on their album Four, after he worked with them throughout 2014. Zayn appeared close with Naughty Boy, purchasing custom made 'Zaughty' tracksuits with him in 2014. In March 2015, after Zayn exited One Direction, Naughty Boy posted a series of antagonizing tweets, making fun of One Direction's fans and claiming "Zaughty" had "won". Louis Tomlinson called him out, tweeting "Wow @NaughtyBoyMusic you're so inconsiderate pal , seriously how fucking old are you? Grow up! #masterofallwisdom"[20]. Naughty Boy responded by leaking a demo of an unfinished solo Zayn song titled "I Won't Mind".

In May 2015, another Twitter fight between Louis and Naughty Boy erupted, after Naughty Boy interpreted a humorous Instagram post by Liam, stating he had found a replacement fifth member, as a diss against Zayn. Naughty posted a photo titled "Replace this" onto Twitter, which Louis promptly insulted. Naughty Boy responded by saying Louis couldn't sing and used autotune. The fight concluded when Zayn addressed Louis, tweeting "Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?".[21] These events were the catalyst for the fan-led campaign to make "No Control" an unofficial single. In July 2015, after Naughty Boy leaked Zayn's cover of Rae Sremmurd's song "No Type", along with a music video he secretly filmed in January 2015, Zayn cut all ties with Naughty Boy, tweeting "@NaughtyBoyMusic you fat joke stop pretending we're friends no one knows you."[22] Naughty Boy has since gone on to work with Beyonce on the hit single "Runnin'" and has twice taken shots at Zayn again on Twitter, but Zayn did not respond.


Zayn is half Pakistani and a practising Muslim. As a result, he has been subjected to numerous racist attacks both from the public and the press.

In August 2012, Zayn deleted his Twitter account after receiving constant racist attacks and accusations of infidelity.[23] He remade his Twitter acount later, but received more attacks and death threats after tweeting #FreePalestine in 2014, during a particularly vicious string of attacks between Palestine and Israel.

In 2014, US talk show The Daily Show compared Zayn to a terrorist. Fan backlash caused the show to address the joke, claiming they did not know he was Muslim. They later made fun of the fanbase for defending him.[24]

In 2015, US personality Bill Maher also compared Zayn to a terrorist, and also made fun of the fanbase upon their immediate backlash against the comparison.[25] In November 2015, a Huffington Post article about terrorist group ISIS briefly mentioned Zayn as an example of a Western Muslim public figure. A photograph of Zayn was used in social media postings of the article, making it look as though his image was being used to illustrate an article about terrorists. Fans once again criticized the outlet and Huffington Post quickly deleted and apologized for the error.[26]

Zayn's 2015 Fader interview addressed the racism he has faced, stating "As the band’s only person of color, and the West’s single most prominent Muslim celebrity, Zayn has faced misunderstanding to an unimaginable degree...after hearing Zayn talk about how normal he is, I can’t help but wonder how “normal” a Muslim person would have to be in order to appease all the world’s bigots—and whether, given the impossible degree of nonthreatening-ness that seems required, how someone in Zayn’s position could ever feel safe enough to say something like, “Yes, I do want to be influential.”[27] In October 2015, Zayn was photographed wearing a shirt that read "I Am Not A Terrorist...Please Don't Arrest Me" as part of a social campaign against anti-terror legislation.

In May 2016, US rapper Azealia Banks verbally attacked Zayn online with a series of racist and homophobic tweets, accusing him of stealing black culture and plagiarising her look and style for his "Like I Would" music video. She was suspended from Twitter and turned down from a music festival as a result[28] and later apologised for her comments[29].


His first tattoo is والتر, which is his grandfather's name, Walter, in Arabic on his chest toward the upper right. He got the tattoo after his grandfather passed away while he was on The X Factor. During an interview with Capital FM in September 2011, Zayn confirmed he had two additional tattoos.[30] He stated that he had a Japanese symbol that means "born lucky" on his stomach (which was later covered up by a heart), and a yin and yang symbol on his left wrist. Zayn has said that the crossed fingers on his forearm are a symbol of good luck. He tweeted that the inscription across his collarbone meant "be true to who you are".[31]

The tattoo of a woman (rumored to be Perrie Edwards) was done during the American leg of the boy's second tour "Take Me Home" in Maryland. The image is a "hippy" version with a beanie and a peace sign t-shirt. The snake and tiger were done in a hotel room during the Oceania leg of the Take Me Home Tour. In January 2016, Zayn told Zane Lowe he had two new tattoos, one of his debut album title Mind Of Mine and one on his leg of a man's silhouette. Neither have been photographed yet. On March 11, 2016, Zayn debuted two new tattoos - a M.O.M (Mind of Mine) tattoo on the side of his head and a sparrow on his neck. The head tattoo turned out to be fake and Zayn actually has the words "Mind of Mine" tattooed down his left arm. On July 14, 2016, a video on a friend's snapchat showed Zayn displaying a new finger tattoo - a Star Wars lightsaber that glows in the dark. Paparazzi photos from September 2016 showed Zayn has covered his "Perrie" tattoo, though it is unknown what the new design is. In November 2016, Zayn revealed to Evening Standard Magazine that One Direction were not allowed to get tattoos, but he decided to anyway because "Once it's done, it's done". He spoke of management "going crazy" after he got the "Zap!" tattoo on his arm.

As of March 2020, Zayn has 72 known tattoos.


Up All Night

Take Me Home

Midnight Memories


Mind of Mine

Ghostbusters Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

  • "wHo" — writing

Snakehips collaboration

M.I.A. collaboration

Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack

PartyNextDoor collaboration

The Mountain Between Us soundtrack

Icarus Falls

  • "Let Me" — writing, co-producer
  • "Natural" — writing
  • "Back To Life" — writing
  • "Common" — writing
  • "Imprint" — writing
  • "Stand Still" — writing
  • "Tonight" — writing
  • "Flight of the Stars" — writing
  • "If I Got You" — writing
  • "Talk to Me" — writing
  • "There You Are" — writing
  • "I Don’t Mind" — writing
  • "Icarus Interlude" — writing 
  •  "Good Guy" — writing 
  • "You Wish You Knew" — writing 
  • "Sour Diesel" — writing 
  • "Satisfaction" — writing 
  • "Scripted" — writing 
  • "Entertainer" — writing 
  • "All That" — writing 
  • "Good Years" — writing 
  • "Fresh Air" — writing
  • "Rainberry"— writing 
  • "Insomnia" — writing 
  • "No Candle No Light" (featuring Nicki Minaj) — writing 
  • "Fingers" — writing 
  • "Too Much" (featuring Timbaland) — writing 


Main article: Discography

One Direction

Solo Career


Year Title Role Notes
2010 The X Factor Himself Contestant (Series 7)
2012 iCarly Himself Guest role (S6E2)
Saturday Night Live Himself Musical guest (S37E18)
2013 One Direction: This Is Us Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself Musical guest (S39E8)
2014 Where We Are – The Concert Film Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself Musical guest (S40E10)
One Direction: The TV Special Himself
2016 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself Musical guest (Episode 419)
Musical guest (Episode 440)
The Voice Himself Musical guest (Season 10, Finals)
2018 Ocean's Eight Himself Cameo

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Result
2015 The Asian Awards Outstanding Contribution to Music Won
Teen Choice Awards Fashion Choice Male Hottie Nominated
2016 MTV Italian Music Awards Best International Male Nominated
MTV Millennial Awards International Hit of the Year Nominated
Much Music Video Awards iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year Nominated
Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Artist Nominated
Choice Song: Male Artist Nominated
Choice Music: Breakout Artist Won
Choice Summer Song: "Like I Would" Nominated
Choice Summer Male Star Won
Choice Style: Male Nominated
Social Media King Nominated
Choice Male Hottie Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Visual Effects Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Best UK Act Nominated
Popjustice £20 Music Prize Best British Pop Single Won
American Music Awards New Artist of the Year Won
BMI London Awards Pop Award Songs: "Night Changes" Won
Music Choice Best New Solo Artist Won
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Breakout Artist Nominated
Favorite Song: "Pillowtalk" Nominated
Brit Awards British Single of the Year: "Pillowtalk" Nominated
British Video: "Pillowtalk" Nominated
Billboard Power 100 Power Artists Won
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Music Video: "Pillowtalk" Nominated
Best New Pop Artist Nominated
Best Solo Breakout Won
NME Awards Best British Male Nominated
Best Book Nominated
Radio Disney Music Awards Best Collaboration: "I Don't Wanna Live Forever"
(with Taylor Swift)
Billboard Music Awards Top New Artist Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Collaboration: "I Don't Wanna Live Forever"
(with Taylor Swift)
MTV Music Video Awards Best Collaboration: "I Don't Wanna Live Forever"
(with Taylor Swift)
BMI London Awards Song of the Year: "Pillowtalk" Nominated
Pop Award Songs: "Pillowtalk" Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Look Won
2018 Brit Awards British Video of the Year: "I Don't Wanna Live Forever"
(with Taylor Swift)
2019 BMI Pop Awards Award Winning Songs : "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" Won


Main article: Zayn Malik/Quotes


Main article: Zayn Malik/Trivia


Main article: Zayn Malik/Gallery

External Links