Highly acclaimed British musician Zayn Malik is one of the world’s most sought-after celebrities.
However, with all the overwhelming adoration and praise, the former One Direction member has witnessed gruesome hatred, Islamophobia and racism as well.
Owing to his Pakistani origin and Islamic faith, the Pillow Talk crooner had always been susceptible to the bitter side of social media, despite being armored by four white boys and a massive fandom during his time in one of the most popular bands around the world.
This has led to many of his fans wondering whether the hate and racism is what actually drove him away from the band and not his general dislike for the kind of music they produced, as mentioned by him.
Malik has often times voiced out the discrimination he had faced in his life owing to his brown skin and religious beliefs, claiming most fights he got into had been caused by racism.
Speaking to ES Magazine, Malik spoke about his Pakistani father and Irish mother and what it was like to grow up as mixed-race child.
Malik said he always “saw dad as dad and mum as mum. I didn’t see colour, I didn’t see religion, I didn’t see race.”
“I was lucky that my mum and dad would always explain it to me: ‘This is just the way it is, this is some people’s belief, this is the way that they’ve been brought up. You’re brought up differently so you’ve got to respect everybody and hope that people respect you in return’,” he said, adding that he was often excluded and treated as an outcast as he got into brawls: “nine times out of 10, the fights were due to racial things.”
“I never really dwelled on this in the past, but I do believe it is something that people should know — this is who I am, this is where I’ve come from. It’s not so much that it hurts — it’s what builds you as a person. What you learn from that. I have an understanding of certain issues,” Malik said.
“Just because I don’t dwell on those issues, doesn’t mean I don’t know. I am aware of what things go on. I am aware that people grow up in racially segregated communities.
Zain Javadd Malik known mononymously as Zayn, is an English singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Malik auditioned as a solo contestant for the British music competition The X Factor in 2010. After being eliminated as a solo performer,
Malik was brought back into the competition, along with four other contestants, to form the boy band that would later be known as One Direction. Malik left the group in March 2015 and subsequently signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records.
Adopting a more alternative R&B music style with his debut studio album Mind of Mine (2016) and its lead single, “Pillowtalk”, Malik became the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US, with his debut single and debut album.
His subsequent singles, including “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Taylor Swift, and “Dusk Till Dawn” featuring Sia, were also hits. In December 2018, he released his second studio album, Icarus Falls.
Malik is the recipient of several accolades, including an American Music Award, Billboard Music Award and MTV Video Music Award.
Zain Javadd Malikwas born on 12 January 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. His father, Yaser Malik, is a British Pakistani; his mother, Tricia Brannan Malik, is of English and Irish descent (she converted to Islam upon her marriage). Zayn Malik has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He had an Islamic upbringing, though he no longer identifies as a Muslim.
Malik grew up in East Bowling, south of Bradford city centre, in a working-class family and neighbourhood. He attended Lower Fields Primary School and Tong High School in Bradford.
Malik has stated that he started taking pride in his appearance after moving schools at the age of twelve, and as a teenager he took performing arts courses and appeared in school productions.
He grew up listening to his father’s urban music records, primarily R&B, hip hop, and reggae, He starting writing raps when he was at school, and sang on stage for the first time when singer Jay Sean visited his school. Malik also boxed for two years, from the age of 15 to 17. Before beginning his music career, he had planned to pursue a career as an English teacher.
In 2010, 17-year-old Malik auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of reality-television competition The X Factor. On the morning of the audition, Malik became nervous and did not want to attend, but his mother eventually forced him out of bed and coaxed him into going. He sang “Let Me Love You” by Mario as his audition song and was accepted into the next round. Upon auditioning for ,
The X Factor, Malik stated that he was “looking for an experience”. He was eliminated before the final round of the competition, but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show,
The boy band that would become known as One Direction. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK, finished in third place, and were subsequently signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. They subsequently signed in North America with Columbia Records.
A book licensed by One Direction, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), released in February 2011, topped The Sunday Times’ Best Seller list.
The same month, the boy band performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK as part of the X Factor Live Tour. The group’s debut studio album Up All Night was released in November 2011 in the UK and Ireland. Released internationally in March 2012, they became the first UK group to have their debut album reach number one in the United States. It topped the charts in 16 countries.
The lead single, “What Makes You Beautiful”, was an international commercial success, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the US; it has since been certified four and six times platinum in the US and Australia, respectively. Subsequent singles, “Gotta Be You” and “One Thing”, became top ten hits in the UK.
Following the release of the album, the band embarked on the Up All Night Tour. Initially intended to be solely a UK tour, various dates in North America and Australia were added due to demand. Up All Night: The Live Tour, a video album documenting the tour, was released in May 2012. That same month, One Direction’s first book to be licensed in America, Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction, was published and topped The New York Times Best Seller list.
In September 2012, One Direction released the “Live While We’re Young”, the lead single from their second album, and it reached the top ten in almost every country it charted in and recorded the highest one-week opening sales figure for a song by a non-US artist in the US.
It recorded the highest one-week opening sales figure for a song by a non-US artist at the time. The album’s second single, Little Things, spawned the band’s second number one single in the UK.
One Direction’s second studio album, Take Me Home, was released in November 2012. The record sold 540,000 copies in its first week in the US and went to number one in 35 countries. Reaching number one on the Billboard 200,
The group became the first boy band in US chart history to record two number-one albums in the same calendar year alongside becoming the first group since 2008 to record two number-one albums in the same year. The group headlined their second concert tour, the Take Me Home Tour, in February 2013, playing over 100 shows in Europe, North American, Oceania, and Asia.
The tour was commercially successful, grossing $114 million. In August 2013, One Direction: This Is Us, a 3-D documentary concert film was released, accumalting a box office gross of $68.5 million. One Direction’s third book, One Direction: Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story: 100% Official, was released that same month. In November 2013, the band’s third studio album, Midnight Memories, was released.
It was the best-selling album worldwide in 2013 with 4 million copies sold globally. The album’s number one debut on Billboard 200 made One Direction the first band in history to have their first three albums all debut atop the Billboard 200. The lead single from the album, “Best Song Ever”, is the group’s highest charting single in the US to date.
They embarked on the Where We Are Tour, their first all-stadium tour in 2014. Tickets sold out in minutes, and more shows were added due to “overwhelming demand.”
The band averaged 49,848 fans per show. The tour grossed over $290 million and was the highest-grossing tour of 2014, the 15th highest-grossing concert tour of all time, and is still the highest-grossing tour of all time by a vocal group.
In September 2014, One Direction’s fourth book, One Direction: Who We Are: Our Official Autobiography was released. The group’s second concert film, One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film, was released in October 2014.