In 2015, it was the split heard round the world: Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction.
The move, which many believed signaled the beginning of the end for the world's biggest boy band, caused shockwaves among Directioners. It turned out to not QUITE be the end. 1D toured the world as a foursome and put out arguably their most commercially successful album before calling it quits (at least for now) and imparting on their respective solo projects.
Zayn, the first to do so, released his debut single "Pillowtalk" in 2016. The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and established Zayn as a relevant solo artist. A later collaboration with Taylor Swift from the 50 Shades soundtrack cemented his place in pop culture.
He moved to New York, started dating supermodel Gigi Hadid, and forged his own path. He hasn't spoken much about the split with 1D, but he opens up in the upcoming issue of Vogue, which is out this Friday, November 9th.
He partially blames the band's stratospheric rise to superstardom for the rift that developed between certain members.
We went from theatres, to arenas, to stadiums...I guess that kind of progression to any mind - but especially when you're 17, 18 - it kind of affects you a little bit. People take it different ways - especially when you are five different personalities. The relationships had broken apart.
He goes on to say that he left the band without a single new friend, calling himself "a little bit of an island".
When asked if he still talks to any of his former bandmates, he was pretty straightforward.
Nah. I ain't spoke to any of them for a long time, to be honest with you. That's just the way it is. There's things that happen and things that were said after I left... Snide things. Small things that I would never have expected.
Sounds like if there IS a One Direction reunion in the future, Zayn probably won't be a part of it. Check out a snippet of Zayn's Vogue interview here, before it's out everywhere on Friday.