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Mind Of Mine
Mind of Mine is the debut studio album by English singer and songwriter Zayn. It was released by RCA Records on 25 March 2016. It has received mostly positive reviews from music critics, with praise directed towards Malik's new musical direction, his vocal performance, and the ambitious experimental production. Singles from Mind of Mine: 'PillowTalk', 'Like I Would', 'BeFoUr' and 'iT's YoU'.
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Site URL: ZaynMalikWeb.com
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Online since: 2016
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Tom Ford Women’s Fall/Winter 2018 fashion show during ...

Zayn attends the Tom Ford Women’s Fall/Winter 2018 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Park Avenue Armory on February 8, 2018 in New York City.

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“ELLE India” Interview

Zayn Malik doesn’t like boxes. Not the box of a moody R&B archetype. Not the box that hemmed him in as a de facto mouthpiece for the Muslim community. Certainly not the creatively restrictive box he was forced to escape as an amiable cookie cutter boy bander in One Direction. “People need to get rid of boxes. They just create divides between us. They don’t do us well,” says the 25-year-old, garrulous, utterly at ease, and almost unshackled – as if he’s shed the outer layer of his pop automaton shell to let his personality shine.

It’s been almost three years since the story of Malik’s Grand Guignol exit was firmly etched into the ruins of popular culture: after a concert in Hong Kong in 2015, Malik decided to leave the band. Pelted by rumours about his break-up with Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards and being creatively dissatisfied with 1D, the pressure to showboat as a happy-go-lucky pop tart grew unbearable. “I think it was down to the kind of music I was singing. I never really felt like I was being honest,” he says. That year, he flew back to his hometown, Bradford, in the north of England, recuperated with a bowl of his mum’s famous curry, and began hatching a plan to break out of the box.

In 2016, after a stint of soul-searching – which included, as per a statement, wanting to be a “normal 22-year-old” – he moved to Los Angeles, tracked down Frank Ocean’s producer, Malay, and crafted one of the most compelling, unexpected R&B albums, Mind Of Mine, this side of Channel Orange [Ocean’s 2012 debut]. Now, finally anxiety-free, he is ready to barrel headlong into his solo career. “I feel [like I’m] in the control seat, like I’m doing my thing,” he says. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing; so, it’s a bit different.”

Between his Los Angeles garage, where he’s built a recording space, and a studio in Pennsylvania, Malik has been putting the finishing touches to his latest album for a few months. “I try not to listen to chart music [while recording],” he says, talking about the inspiration behind this new record. “But I’m always inspired by old music that I still love from being a kid – R. Kelly, Usher, Chris Brown. A lot of people from my dad’s generation… a lot of Donell Jones.”

For his sophomore effort, Malik has recorded a staggering 87 songs that he must whittle down to a digestible 10, or so. “I tried to pick what I think is the most me, the most authentic.” What that really means is that Malik, one of the most clandestine musicians of the millennium, will have to edge even closer to being completely open, vulnerable – a far departure from his days with One Direction, when he rarely chimed in during group interviews. “I didn’t really know how to place myself in the public environment. I was always on edge.” Today, it’s clear he’s shed that reserve.

This also means that – following on from the positive response he received for his Urdu track, ‘Flower’ – he will again sing in Urdu. It reflects a level of comfort with bringing this part of his heritage – his stay-at-home dad is British-Pakistani – into his music. “There’s definitely a lot of Urdu; some nice qawwali sounds. There might even be some bhangra vibes,” says Malik, before listing the other highlights: “I have worked with AR Rahman on one song. It was interesting, because [my team] was talking to him first, saying ‘Bollywood, Bollywood…’ Then he came on Skype, and said, ‘There are a thousand different types of Bollywood. What do you mean?’ I had to explain we wanted a more qawwali, sufi kind of sound, and he got it straight away.” The resulting track is just one part of a deeper exploration of his roots. Malik has recently also recorded a song for a Bollywood film. “It’s one of the first songs I’ve sung in full Hindi, so it’s going to be cool to see what the response to that is.”

The territory isn’t unfamiliar to Malik. He grew up on a diet of Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, and will recommend Shah Rukh Khan’s Devdas (2002) to you, any chance he gets. “Before I can even remember… [Bollywood films were] on the TV,” he says. “Bollywood is so impeccable. If you ever get a chance to watch a good Bollywood movie, watch Devdas! Have you seen Devdas? It’s got Shah Rukh Khan in it. You know who Shah Rukh Khan is?” Thank to one specific record-breaking selfie, the world know he does.

Malik and Khan met in November 2015 at the Asian Awards in London. Their selfie, posted to Khan’s Twitter, reportedly received the highest number of retweets of all time from an Indian account. “I personally wasn’t a huge fan until I met him. I realised how humble he is. Really showed a different side to him. He always came across as slightly arrogant in the movies to me, but when I met him in real life, he was so nice. He just completely changed my opinion of him.”

For now, Malik’s gaze is trained on what lies ahead, with no time for what he calls “negative shit” – be it the rumours that mired his exist from 1D (that he no longer cared about his fans or making music), or the “macho world of male aggression” he had to deal with, as a cog in the machinations of pop, an aspect he addressed in his book, Zayn (Penguin Random House, 2016).

Determined that his music embrace all facets of his identity, Malik keeps himself surrounded by “strong women”, like his mother, a halal chef at a primary school. “If you want a peaceful and intelligent solution to a problem, get a woman to solve it. I’m very lucky to have three sisters, five aunts, and my mum. They supported everything I wanted to do. With my father, he didn’t really get theatre studies too much, and didn’t ever come and see me at performances. But he’s slowly starting to get into it now that he sees my success. I always felt like women were always behind me no matter what I was doing. They just like me.” He’s getting on quite well with one in particular – model-girlfriend Gigi Hadid, who “keeps him balanced”, with the odd fashion lesson thrown in. “I didn’t even know who Karl Lagerfeld was; Gigi had to explain to me his prominence,” he smirks.

To some, Zayn Malik represents a resurgent pop icon; a pin-up that cuts a divergent path through the flavourless music that dominates the charts. To others, he is the poster boy for an ultra-modern culture clash, marrying influences from the East and West through the power of unshakeable, dance floor tunes. It’s a rare space to occupy – to be able to introduce a Western audience to a world they never before imagined, as well as represent Asian fans – and a lot of power to wield for one young star, but he’s wickedly capable. Just don’t box him in.

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Out in NYC – February 2

Zayn was seen out in NYC on Friday (February 2).

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Out in NYC – February 1

Zayn was seen out in NYC on Thursday (February 1).

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Zayn Covers “ELLE” India

It may be the first day of fashion week but Zayn in a Tommy cricket jumper on the cover of Elle India is what the fashion world is really buzzing about. It’s the first time we’re seeing the international popstar on the cover of an Indian magazine and honestly we can’t help think he just fits. It could be the Urdu origin name, the international looks or the fact that it’s Zayn. Though the looks do have a part to play…

“I kept the mood true to his rock ‘n’ roll personality and the choice of clothes was a mix of bomber jackets, denim, sharp suits and lots of prints and textures.” Rahul Vijay, Elle’s Fashion Editor says about the shoot. “I hadn’t heard his music before and I just knew of him as a popstar who was dating Gigi Hadid. I would play his tracks in preparation for the shoot while doing call-ins. The white cricket sweater from Hilfiger Collection with the neck adjusted to show off his tattoos seemed like an appropriate cover image. It’s rock’n’roll – preppy.”

Over lunch- which was a plate of chicken wings for Zayn- the former boy band singer was shocked to find out how popular he is in India. “He loves Indian food and claims his mom makes the best Indian food around.” No prizes for guessing who his favourite Bollywood actor is. “He loves Shah Rukh Khan, he’s even made Gigi watch Devdas, which is one of his favourites.”

Zayn did seven shots in about 3-4 hours with Manhattan as his backdrop from the iconic Lotte New York Palace Hotel. “He’s what a star his age should be: humble, calm and very easy to work with. He doesn’t like to smile in pictures, but that’s fashion so it works.” With that jawline we don’t blame him for not wanting to disrupt it.

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Out in NYC – January 30

Zayn was seen out in NYC on Tuesday (January 30).

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Out in NYC – January 29

Zayn was seen out in NYC on Monday (January 29).

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