1D Thoughts
In a recent interview with Zach Sang, Zayn Malik reflected on his time in One Direction.

Zayn Regrets “Not Enjoying” One Direction Enough

“I just took things too seriously.”

Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty Images

Zayn Malik has been an open book lately. It’s surprising to see, considering he’s a private person who mostly shares his thoughts through music rather than on social media. (Well, unless it’s about a UFC match.) The singer has spent the last month reflecting on the highs and lows of his career, including his time in One Direction. In a May 8 interview with Zach Sang, the Mind of Mine singer revealed he wished he appreciated that era more.

“The main thing that I always feel bad about when I look back over my life is not enjoying the band enough,” Malik said on the Zach Sang Show. “I feel like I just took things too seriously. I’m grateful that I’m able to be happier now. I can actually enjoy things and own my own perspective a bit. Like, glass half full versus it being half empty. That’s my choice.”

Malik continued, adding he “didn’t understand the importance of being happy” as the band’s fame rose to new heights. He was only 17 when One Direction formed on X Factor in 2011, and later released their debut album that same year. “I had this teen angst thing going on — a chip on my shoulder. I was like, ‘It’s really cool to be moody as f*ck all the time.’ It’s not. You’re just a loser,” he said.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

After four years in 1D, Malik left the band in March 2015 to pursue his solo career. Then, a year later, the remaining members (Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne) called it quits. Following their permanent hiatus, Malik’s interactions with his former bandmates became oddly chaotic. They were cordial one moment, then lost in a random online argument — or making shady comments about each other in interviews — the next. However, despite the inconsistent drama, the former group always seemed to reconcile.

Now that he’s at a comfortable space in his career, Malik wishes he would’ve been a “nicer person” to himself and those around him. “You should be somebody that people want to be around and enjoy being in your presence, and you should bring light to peoples’ day instead of being this f*cking negative cloud of energy,” he said.

It seems this sort of reflection will appear on Room Under the Stairs, his upcoming folk-blues album that sees him juggling fatherhood — he shares 3-year-old daughter Khai with ex-girlfriend, Gigi Hadid — with finding his voice again as a singer.