Malik has a fan in Taylor Swift, who told him she enjoyed his debut compilation.
“I don’t get much feedback from my peers. I spoke a bit to Taylor [Swift],” he said. “At Gigi’s house we briefly spoke and she told me she really enjoyed the album. It was nice to get some feedback. She said she thought I was cool and I kind of blushed a bit and didn’t know how to take it.”
Zayn Malik has 19 million followers on Twitter, 11.4 million on Instagram, and has accumulated up to 516 million-plus views on YouTube for his debut solo music video “PILLOWTALK” starring girlfriend Gigi Hadid. His exposure is obvious, yet the London-based recording artist prefers to stay home.
“I don’t tend to go out much. I stick to my own bubble, as it is,” he said in a June 13 published interview with Dazed. “Creatively and socially, I think, as I’m getting older, that’s just the way I am.”
The 23-year-old started his career in boy band One Direction, established through the singing competition show, “X Factor: UK” and Simon Cowell. When he shockingly left the group at the end of 2015—citing creative differences—fans were disappointed. However, for Malik it was about staying true to who he was as an artist and person.
“I’m just staying the way that I am. I think that’s the best way to keep your sanity. You’ve got to hold on to what you are and not let things get to your head, because if you do, that’s when everything comes crashing down terribly,” he said.
The star stayed true to himself when he abruptly canceled his show for the Capital Summertime Ball in London on June 11 due to a severe bout of anxiety.
“Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me,” Malik wrote on Instagram on Friday. “With the magnitude of the event I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career. I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation.”
Malik made history with his debut album, “Mind of Mine” debuting No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart—the first U.K solo artist to do so since George Michael’s “Faith” in 1987. The album, released on March 25 through RCA Records, sold 112,000 albums and included the chart-topping lead single “Pillowtalk.”