Zayn Malik on Keeping His Sanity & Quitting One Direction Suddenly

Zayn explains that the decision to leave One Direction happened suddenly. He just got on a plane, went home and left the band without over-thinking the situation. He remembers waiting for his plane to arrive and he felt relaxed in that moment:

“I called my security and I was like, ‘I need to sort out a plane. I want to go home.’ I don’t know how I knew, but I just did. So I chatted with my cousin. Listened to a few songs. Just waited for my plane to come.”

When asked if he’s still in touch with any of the other band members, Zayn reveals that they haven’t really been in touch very much, but he is still in contact with Liam and would like to see him again in the future:

“I’m still probably the closest to Liam. We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single, which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award [the group collected the British Video Award for ‘Drag Me Down’]. It was a good chat. We haven’t met up in a long time so we want to meet up… I tried to have contact but nobody’s reached out. So… whatever.”

Now already enjoying a successful solo career, Zayn says that he has been able to keep his sanity over the years by keeping an understanding of the way the media works in his mind:

“You can be in the eye of it if you choose to be or you can let it overwhelm you. See, I’ve kept a bit of my sanity, I know how the media works. Journos gotta earn their money. Paps have got to earn their money. I think that’s why it came across as being mysterious or detached. I just didn’t want to get caught up in something that wasn’t real.”