If Zayn Malik is happy, then so are we

Published: April 5, 2015
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The amount of times that I have pined over Malik is overwhelming. PHOTO: REUTERS

March 25th, 2015; the day the world ended. Or, at least, that is how it felt to all the fans of One Direction around the globe.

Ask a Directioner and they will tell you that it felt as though their hearts had been ripped out of their chests and laid bare, quote unquote. But ask their parents and they will sigh deeply and insist that their children are overreacting, being melodramatic, as the entirety of this generation seems to be; and these things happen all the time – remember the Beatles? And really, the drama is comical.

Parents and teenagers are completely at odds over this subject, with the latter defending their emotions and the former adamantly insisting that they are being over-dramatic.

After watching a band grow and reach the height of success, it being clear that Zayn Malik was reason for that success for nearly five years, it is difficult not to form a sort of bond, and even more so to accept that Malik’s vocals would not grace any of the band’s future albums.

The band would continue as a four-piece, but the loss of Malik’s high notes would be a heavy blow to them, especially for songs such as You & I, which is personally my favourite.

I would never stop supporting and listening to the band, even if only one of the members remained. But many other fans are now slightly wary and hesitant; if Malik left, what would stop the other boys from following him?

These were the general thoughts of fans, as soon it was announced on social media that Malik had left One Direction. I, for one, locked myself in my room, too sad to think about anything else, and listened to nothing but One Direction the entire weekend, just like many of my other friends.

Fans were conflicted between being glad that Malik was giving his own mental and emotional health importance, and coming up with various absurd theories to explain his exit. Although the original reason cited for his departure was the stress he had to deal with on a daily basis; rumours ran rife, as they were bound to, that he had left to pursue a solo career, and his initial silence on the matter only added fuel to the fire.

Some Directioners explained it as abandonment, especially the more enthusiastic ones, but a few viewed it as a blessing in disguise; perhaps this would give him a chance to grow as a person and a musician, as well as give him some time with his family and fiancée, Perrie Edwards.

Between the cheating scandals and Malik ‘taking a break’ from the tour, the news was not all that unexpected, except to those who were thoroughly convinced that there was no chink in the armour, that the leave was temporary. The abruptness of the departure caused both outrage and sorrow.

Malik left the band to be a ‘normal 22-year-old,’ but after living in the spotlight for five years, most of the fans were quick to point out that it would be a nearly impossible feat to accomplish, because he would always be Malik, former member of the world’s biggest boy band, gone but never forgotten. This reaction may be a bit exaggerated.

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Rumours of a solo career were confirmed, when a demo was released by Naughty Boy, a fellow musician and record producer. The song featured Malik’s voice singing unfamiliar lyrics, which effectively confirmed that he was pursuing a solo career and reactions to the song were mixed.

I personally feel that the song shows how Malik seems to be determined for a ‘fresh start’ as the music is unlike anything we have heard from him and his former band mates. Some of us greeted the change with hesitant enthusiasm but the majority of One Direction fans were unpleasantly surprised as they had not expected a new song so soon.