I Didn't 'Enjoy the Band Enough': Zayn Malik Says He 'Took Things Too Serious' in One Direction

Zayn Malik is looking back on his time in One Direction and wishing he enjoyed the "Little Things" a bit more

Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 04:31:09 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 04:31:09

Zayn Malik is looking back on his time in One Direction and wishing he enjoyed the "Little Things" a bit more.

The vocalist, 31, revealed during a new Zach Sang Show interview that his time in the boy band — which he departed from in March 2015, just months before the group's eventual hiatus — is something he sometimes reflects on.

“The main thing that I always feel bad about when I look back over my life is not enjoying the band enough,” Malik said during the conversation.

“I feel like I just took things too seriously, you know? I’m grateful that I’m able to be happier now. I can actually enjoy things and own my own perspective a bit, you know? Like, glass half full versus it being half empty. That’s my choice.” 

Speaking on his current outlook, Malik shared that if he frames "everything in a negative manner" in his life, he's "not going to gain satisfaction from it."

"But if I move with happiness, I can gain so much more," he added. "And I can have a good time and enjoy my life. I think that's one thing I'm really grateful for now that I didn't understand the importance of when I was younger. I didn't understand the importance of just trying to be happy."

The "What I Am" singer also explained that he had a "teen-angst thing" and a "chip on my shoulder" at the time, when he thought it was "really cool to just be moody as f--- all the time."

"It's not," added Malik, who was 17 when the band formed in 2010. "You're just a loser, let's be honest. You should be a nice person. You should be somebody that people want to be around and enjoy being in your presence. You should bring light to people's day instead of being this f---ing negative cloud or energy, you know?"

It's been nearly a -

decade since Malik parted ways with his bandmates Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, and instead focused on his solo journey.

And during that journey, he's become a father. As he told Sang, his daughter Khai, 3½ — whom he shares with his ex, model Gigi Hadid — has brought "color" back in his life.

“She just makes me happier. I have so much love in me that I didn’t have before she was born,” he told the host. “She laughs all day. She wants to do the silliest things, and she gains so much excitement from it, you know? She just has a whole fresh perspective on life that had somewhat become gray for me.” 

Elsewhere during the discussion, as previously reported, Malik revealed that he doesn't think he's ever actually been in love — despite having dated Hadid for over five years. The pair dated on and off between 2015 and 2021.

"I don’t know how you know what love is. That’s a really deep question. It’s hard, you know? I think love comes in many different forms. In love with somebody is a whole different, kind of complicated, you know? There’s so many different variables that go into it," said Malik, who releases his fourth studio LP Room Under the Stairs this week.

"You can never really pinpoint, I think, what is love. There’s ways you can show love. You can express it. That’s our human understanding of it, but what is love? It’s an intangible thing, right? We can’t hold it in our hands. It’s not something that exists," he added.

"...When you ask me, ‘What is love?’ I think the reason that’s hard for me to answer that question is I don’t know if I’ve ever actually truly been in love."

Malik's new album releases on Friday, May 17 via Mercury and Republic.

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