Zayn Malik to launch solo career

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A new direction: Is Zayn Malik the next Justin Timberlake?.

Is it possible to sustain a relationship based on deception? “I guess I never explained why I left,” the singer wrote. “It was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who i really am! #realmusic #RCA!!” When Malik left One Direction in March, he said he was quitting because he wanted to be “a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” It’s four months since the “mysterious one” told fans that he was turning his back on fame, and yet he has already confirmed a brand new label deal, a contract with a major management team and an ambition to make what he described on Twitter as “#realmusic”. One Direction have made efforts to lean leftfield in recent years – an acoustic guitar croppping up in the odd music video, an appearance alongside Ronnie Wood on the X Factor, studio time with the Vaccines frontman Justin Young – but could the pursuit of credibility be easier when there’s a blank slate, set apart from bandmates?

The path from populism to critical acclaim is still a turbulent journey that many an ex-boyband member has embarked on, from Take That’s Mark Owen and his exploits as an indie nearly-man, to Westlife’s Brian McFadden and his awful earnest acoustic era. While his affiliation with management company Turn First places him alongside pop frontrunners Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding, RCA, his new label, houses pop’s more credible, soul-infused singers such as Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and D’Angelo. He is also rumoured to be in the studio with producer Malay, who cites R&B artists such as Frank Ocean and John Legend, and rappers Killer Mike and Outkast’s Big Boi, on his CV. This is not only a wise choice in terms of sustaining his grip on the US market, but also implies a pop and hip-hop hybrid – a move Timberlake made in his early solo days.

It has started strong: as well as sitting next to Kanye West at Louis Vuitton’s show for Paris men’s fashion week, the cockatoo quiff he once sported has been sheared off, replaced by a no-nonsense buzz cut, the same style once sported by Timberlake. Of course, many of music’s major artists have segued seamlessly from saccharine pop to discerning, critically praised status – Michael Jackson, Scott Walker, George Michael – and Malik certainly boasted the richest, most soulful voice in One Direction.

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