"We’d got sick of each other"
Zayn has detailed the reasons that led to him leaving One Direction.
Appearing on Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast, Zayn said he figured out One Direction was coming to an end as fellow members decided not to sign new contracts.
In his first interview since 2017, Zayn said:
“I knew something was happening, so I just got ahead of the curve.
“I was like, ‘I’m just going to get out of here, I think this is done’.”
During One Direction’s ‘On the Road Again Tour’, Zayn said he would be absent from the rest of the tour’s Asian leg, citing stress.
He went on to say: “I just saw it [coming] and I completely selfishly wanted to be the first person to make my own record.
“If I’m being completely honest with you, I was like, ‘I’m going to jump the gun here’.
“I’m a passive dude, but when it comes to my music and my business, I’m serious about it and competitive, so I wanted to be the first to go and do my own thing. That was the reason.”
Zayn revealed there was hidden tension among the band members.
“There were obviously underlying issues within our friendships too. We’d got sick of each other if I’m being completely honest.”
Despite this, Zayn had fond memories.
He said: “We were close, you know?
“We’d done crazy things with each other that nobody else in the world will ever understand and I look back on it now in a much fonder light than I would have [when] I’d just left.”
During the podcast, Zayn also spoke about his anxiety battles.
“As a young kid, I loved being on stage, and I loved performing.
“When it became a thing that had a lot of weight behind it, in terms of people watching and stuff, then you’re going to have natural feelings of anxiety.
“It’s not a natural thing to do. I had to learn to adjust.”
Zayn also broke his silence on allegedly pushing Yolanda Hadid, the mother of his then-girlfriend Gigi Hadid.
He revealed: “I just wasn’t trying to get into a negative back and forth with her [Yolanda], or any sort of narrative online where my daughter was going to look back and read that.
“I believe I dealt with it in the best way, an amicable, respectful way, and that’s all that needs to be said.”
He added that he is a hands-on father to his daughter and that she had changed his outlook on life, and brought out his inner child.
“When I’m with her [Khai], I don’t work at all, I just spend a full day with her doing things that she wants to do, like painting, Play-Doh, going to the park and the zoo.
“I feel like I’ve rekindled my own childhood through her, you know?
“I feel like we get to a certain point in adult life where everything is kind of vague and grey and boring, and she’s brought that colour back for me.”