Zayn Malik on former One Direction bandmates: 'I had every intention of remaining friends'

Zayn Malik and his former bandmates have gone in completely different directions, since he parted from One Direction. Upon his departure from the popular boy band back in March of 2015, he wrote, “I have four friends for life” — but it appears that these days, those words aren't holding true. The now solo artist opened up in a new interview with Billboard magazine about his band days, including former cohorts - Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson.

“The truth of it is you can think one thing about a situation and the total opposite can happen,” he said regarding his departing message. “I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody.”

Photo: Billboard

Zayn continued, “I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”

After five years together, the 22-year-old left the band to pursue solo projects. While he said he “genuinely enjoyed” being a member of the group, it was the music that did not sit with him as a musician. He explained, “The other boys’ taste was generally indie rock. It’s good music, but I don’t f--- with it. That was never cool where I was from.”

“We weren’t allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to. I’d sit and wonder, ‘If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?’ My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what’s real, so why don’t we write some stuff that we’re actually going through?” he said. "I’m not censoring myself anymore."

While the former Directioner has his own music these days, he assured the magazine there is no rivalry between him and his former bandmates. “There are no sides to pick,” he said. “We’re not going head-to-head.”

A photo posted by Zayn Malik (@zayn) on

And though he hasn’t heard from his old pals, the singer has been keeping himself busy with girlfriend Gigi Hadid. Zayn, who ended his two-year engagement with Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards, admitted that when it comes to relationships, “I need a challenge.”

In terms of the kind of women he likes, Zayn revealed, “I like girls that are a bit chunky in certain areas — the nice areas. I like a fuller woman. I enjoy an intellectual conversation as well, where someone can construct a sentence beyond what hair and makeup they’re wearing, and talk about something political or about the world. I like an opinion.”

"" #GigiHadidSnapchat @gigihadid @zayn

A video posted by Gigi Hadid❤️ (@gigihadidsnapchat) on

While the two have yet to publicly confirm the romance, they have been photographed together around New York City. Gigi recently shared a Snapchat video of a giggly Zayn sitting on a couch. Meanwhile, the singer has also posted a photo on his Instagram account featuring him and the 20-year-old model looking cozy together.

For more of the latest celebrity and royal news follow us @HelloMagUS on Twitter, Pinterest and like us on Facebook.