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Zayn Malik's 'Billboard' Cover Story: 7 Things We Learned

From his relationship with One Direction to new music to his ideal partner, here are a few illuminating moments from Zayn's most recent interview.

1 / 7

His new music is nothing like One Direction

Miller Mobley for Billboard

He got a sense of that in Zayn Malik's cover with the Fader, his first in-depth solo story, but here, it's reconfirmed. Billboard writes:

"The four others here at Los Angeles’ Record Plant are part of Malik’s team, and even they seem surprised at how little the slinky, propulsive music he plays has to do with anything recorded by One Direction..."

2 / 7

Zayn loved being in One Direction

Contrary to what you might've heard, Zayn didn't hate 1D. It's quite the opposite:

“I genuinely enjoyed [the band] and did whatever I could to be myself within that, but it’s just not where I sit as a musician,” he told Billboard. "The other boys’ taste was generally indie rock. It’s good music, but I don’t f--- with it. That was never cool where I was from.”

3 / 7

There's no rivalry between the guys...but he's not sure they'll be friends forever

So...it's bittersweet? There's no bad blood, but that doesn't been they're going to rock BFF status forever. Zayn promises, "There are no sides to pick. We’re not going head-to-head," adding the casually cryptic:

"The truth of it is you can think one thing about a situation and the total opposite can happen. I had every intention of remaining friends with everybody, but I guess certain phone numbers have changed and I haven’t received calls from a lot of people. I’ve reached out to a few of them and not got a reply. Certain people have pride issues, but it’s stuff you overcome in time.”

4 / 7

Zayn fought for authenticity for 1D from the very beginning

This one might sting, so fans, prepare yourselves! Zayn:

“We weren’t allowed to say certain things, or word [lyrics] the way we would want to... I’d sit and wonder, ‘If the fans knew how it worked, what would they think?’ My argument was: People are more intelligent than that. They want to hear what’s real, so why don’t we write some stuff that we’re actually going through?”

5 / 7

Zayn's has a "type"

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Zayn Malik of One Direction attends the BBC Music Awards at Earl's Court Exhibition Centre on
Karwai Tang/WireImage

At one point in the interview, Zayn describes his ideal partner, for some reason:

“I need a challenge. Also, I like girls that are a bit chunky in certain areas -- the nice areas. I like a fuller woman. I enjoy an intellectual conversation as well, where someone can construct a sentence beyond what hair and makeup they’re wearing, and talk about something political or about the world. I like an opinion.”

6 / 7

He once broke his ankle skateboarding with Justin Bieber

Getty Images

There's not a lot to this story but, like, how great is that? Justin Bieber shows up all over the place to grind; good to know he found a friend in Malik.

7 / 7

He hasn't heard 'Made in the A.M.'

1D shade? Probably not. Zayn explains, "I’ll be honest. I thought the first single was quite cool. I heard the second single and...yeah, I didn’t buy the album.” Guess things aren't that Perfect.

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Photo of the day

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 14: Zendaya, Hugh Jackman, James Corden, and Zac Efron perform in Crosswalk The Musical in New York City

Dec. 15: ‘The Greatest Showman’ Take Over NYC

Zendaya, Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman drop by New York City to take part in James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical series, and it went as hilariously chaotic as you think. The cast of the upcoming film ‘The Greatest Showman’ perform various tunes from Broadway classics like ‘Guys and Dolls,’ ‘On the Town,’ and ‘Fame’ in the middle of the busy streets of NYC. The three actors even performed a number from their new movie, and despite the traffic and honking cars we think they did pretty well!