Zayn Malik on His One Direction Past: "It's Just Not Where I Sit as a Musician"

Frank Ocean's producer Malay also shares some details on Zayn's new album.

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Since signing with RCA back in JulyZayn Malik has been relatively quiet about his new music, except for a clip featured in an interview for Fader. In his latest interview, Zayn graces the cover of Billboard and gives fans an update on the status of his solo album, which is reportedly called BeFour. Zayn reveals he is going for a different sound than his One Direction counterparts. "[It’s] just not where I sit as a musician,” he says. “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.”

Last year, Zayn linked up with Frank Ocean's Channel Orange collaborator and Grammy-winning producer James “Malay” Ho to develop his new sound. Malay has since become Malik's main collaborator on the new album. “We went camping for a week in the Angeles Forest -- set up a generator and a tent so we could track in the woods,” says Malay. “It was the complete opposite of what he’d been doing. We had the gas grill, BB guns, bows and arrows. It was a shittin’-in-the-woods-type thing.”

The interview also reveals three new song titles off the album including "Befour," —which we've previously heard— “It’s You,” and “Wrong.” “It doesn’t feel like choreographed pop,” adds RCA chairman/CEO Peter Edge. “It’s widely rumored that Harry [Styles]is working on a record, and I’m sure it won’t sound like 1D, exactly. But it feels like maybe Zayn’s further along, musically.” As for that new One Direction album, Zayn says he still hasn't heard it in full. ​“I’ll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool. I heard the second single and... yeah, I didn’t buy the album.” ​Zayn's new album is scheduled to come out this spring. You can read Zayn's full Billboard cover story here.

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