March 25: Reflecting on Zayn


Photo via Eva Rinaldi from Flickr under Creative Commons license

Julie Wood

March 25, 2015:  The One Direction fandom is crushed by the heartbreaking news of Zayn Malik leaving the band.  He wants to spend his time relaxing from life constantly on the road for tours and creating new music.  He wishes to settle down with his fiancé Perrie Edwards, singer in the girl group Little Mix.  He writes in a Facebook status that he wants to pursue a life of being a “normal 22 year old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

March 25, 2016:  Zayn has already returned to the spotlight.  He has called off the engagement with Perrie Edwards, and was seen with model Gigi Hadid.  A “normal 22 year old” life includes creating new music, as well as his first solo album, Mind of Mine, set to be released on this day.  A new fandom named the “Zquad” has been formed to support the new solo artist.  

One Direction fans, Jamilee Hoffman and Rhea Banerjee, seniors at South, reflect on the day March 25, in relevance to Zayn Malik.  While both were upset about the singer’s 2015 departure from the popular boy band, they both have different opinions about the new 2016 Zayn.  

Upon hearing the news of Zayn leaving, Rhea says, “I thought I’d never see or hear of him again because he was a very reserved member while he was in the band.  This thought made me really upset because he was also my favorite member of the band.”  

Jamilee agrees saying, “Last March, I was a complete and total mess.  As dramatic as it sounds, I was really upset and wasn’t expecting anyone leaving the band any time soon.”  

In comparison to One Direction’s upbeat pop sound to their music, Zayn has now turned to an R&B style with his new album.  Recent releases of his music, such as singles, “iT’s YoU” and “LIKE I WOULD” have topped the music charts, and his first solo music video has already been viewed over 200 million times–twice the amount of views of One Direction’s recently released music video for “History”.  

Because of the new style, it has lost interest from fans who do not particularly like that genre of music.  “I’m glad he is making his own music and coming up with his own album, but his music does not appeal to me as much as it used to,” Rhea explains.  “I’m looking forward to listening to his new music; however, I’m not a diehard fan anymore.”

Jamilee continues to be a supporter for Zayn and feels glad he is able to work on his own music and show his true personality instead of “pretending to have a different one while he was in the band.”

“He finally gets to do what he wants,” says Jamilee.  He’s in a good place in his life where he can put out music that he actually loves, can relate to, and is just really him.”  

Zayn’s album, Mind of Mine, is expected to be released on March 25.