“I may as well douse myself in gasoline and light a match, [because] that’s what listening to this song feels like,” gushed senior Gabriela Garcia, devoted fan of former One Direction member Zayn Malik.
It has been ten months since fans have heard Malik’s voice, thick with his Yorkshire accent and achingly sweet. His first single since going solo, “Pillowtalk,” was released on Jan. 29 and did not disappoint his eager following. It hints at what his new style will consist of, strikingly different from the indie pop he used to sing. He never hid his love for R&B, and his voice molds around the style perfectly, drifting and syrupy, slurring words to the point of unrecognition.
The feedback has been incredibly positive. “Pillowtalk” flew to the top of the charts over the weekend it was released, proving Malik’s power as a solo artist. It snagged the No. 1 spot on the “Billboard + Twitter Trending 140”. He has become the fastest growing male artist on Vevo with this, his YouTube Vevo hitting almost a million subscribers after only one day. This was probably helped by his impressive following from before he even released the song, fans that stuck with him even after he left One Direction.
Of course, there are the Debbie Downers. Some are still upset by his decision to go solo, calling him selfish for leaving in the middle of a tour. Others call out his arrogant attitude about his own taste, calling his own style “real music” and trash talking the music of his former bandmates. He never seems appreciative of the fact that One Direction was what gave him the platform he has today.
Despite all this, Malik has risen to the top of the charts, and it does not appear he will be falling any time soon. His debut album, Mind of Mine, is said to be released in March, almost a year after his departure from One Direction. Hopefully, this album will give an insightful view as to which direction Malik will be heading in now.