ZAYN is opening up in a big way about his relationship with his former boy band, One Direction, and his past producer, Naughty Boy. In a new interview with NME, the now-solo artist says he only speaks to one of the four current members of the group. “I’m still probably the closest to Liam [Payne],” he says. “We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single. Which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award.” However, he hasn't seen Liam since before leaving the band and hasn't even spoken to any of the other members. “I tried to have contact but nobody’s reached out. So… whatever.” When asked if they hate him, he responds, “Who knows.”
Last year, ZAYN also had a very public falling out with producer, Naughty Boy, who he linked up with after leaving One Direction. “With Naughty Boy, look, we just didn’t get on. And we’ll leave it at that,” says ZAYN. If you remember, ZAYN got into a heated social media exchange with the producer and tweeted, “you fat joke stop pretending we’re friends no one knows you.” Many thought the fall out happened due to a song of ZAYN's being leaked onto the internet, but Naughty Boy later alluded to a mysterious “something else” as the cause of them going separate ways.
As a result, ZAYN linked up with Frank Ocean's famed producer, James “Malay” Ho, on his debut album, Mind of Mine, who he describes as an incredible person to work with. “Malay is all about the music,” proclaims ZAYN. “He can tell you what the screw is in a microphone that gives it that tinny sound. He’s that kind of guy.” The duo's chemistry is obvious when listening to ZAYN's recently released songs, including his single “Pillowtalk” that debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Find out more about ZAYN's new album in our April/May cover story here and look for Mind of Mine to drop this Friday.