After announcing his official departure from the hit-making, British boy band One Direction in March, Zayn Malik released his first solo single “Pillowtalk” last Friday.
The track, released on Jan. 29, holds a clear incentive of removing the remnants of any pending boy band baggage weighing Malik down. Thankfully for the tatted “Bradford Bad Boy,” “Pillowtalk” was a successful all grown up tune, having hit No. 1 in 60 countries, according to The Telegraph. After all, the track, off Malik’s debut solo album Mind of Mine, is named after post-sex conversation.
According to Billboard.com, Malik told the Sunday Times the track is “…all about sex.”
“Everybody has sex, and it’s something people wanna hear about,” Malik said. “It’s part of everybody’s life, a very big part of life.”
Boasting a definite R&B sound supported by seductive lyrics, the track gives listeners some new content while, likely unintentionally, providing that same sultry feel fans expect from the 23-year-old-singer.
Like any great pop hit, “Pillowtalk” only requires a listen or two before becoming an instant sing-along, with its catchiness grounded in a consistently repeated chorus. It’s a sound all too familiar, preceding Nick Jonas’ breakout efforts, but remains unique nonetheless with its unexpectedly badass lyrics.
Singing the words, “Be in the bed all day, bed all day, bed all day/F*cking you, and fighting on,” and likely making fans weak in the knees, Malik’s R&B roots come to the forefront. He definitely focuses his lyrical attention on sex, love and passion.
Likewise, the song’s accompanying music video, which has already received over 22,200,000 views since it’s Jan. 28 release, is equally as captivating and sex-centered.
Lined with seductive shots of Malik and supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid between psychedelic visuals, the video stays true to the track’s sexually charged motif. Even though there certainly aren’t any pillows or talking in the video, Malik serves fans a profusion of nudity, smoking and guitar smashing—further establishing himself as a bad boy, One Direction breakaway.
Donning a new, bleached hairdo and a shiny leather jacket, the video shows the singer kissing and touching Hadid, clad in a matching leather dress with simplistic makeup. Interestingly, the headline-making duo doesn’t really steal the show – rather, an excess of melting flowers, mirror images and flashing visuals enchant and stun viewers’ eyes. It’s nothing short of a bad acid trip.
While the couple hasn’t publicly clarified their relationship status, the track’s music video serves as the unofficial icing on the speculation cake.
According to US Weekly, “the pair sparked romance rumors in November 2015, when they stepped out together after the American Music Awards (Hadid and Joe Jonas split earlier that month). They made it ‘Instagram official’ one month later when Malik, who was previously engaged to Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards, posted a cuddly picture of the two.”
While the couple has left fans guessing about their conjectured relationship, there’s no guessing over the ironic release date of Malik’s debut solo album. After announcing he had signed a recording deal with RCA Records on July 29 and revealing part of the record’s track list, including “Befour,” “She,” “It’s You,” “Wrong,” “I Got Mine” and “My Ways,” the RCA publicly announced the album’s expected March 25, 2016 release date. That’s right, the album’s release date is set for the one-year anniversary of Malik’s separation from his musical alma mater.
Nobody can say for sure, but the satirical timing of the album’s release and Malik’s outspokenness about his unexpected 1D split suggests the five-person band might not be on “Perfect” terms at the moment.
With only one single promoting Mind of Mine thus far, it’s hard to predict what to expect from Malik’s debut solo album. Based off his recent efforts, it’s safe to say we’ll be hearing a handful of R&B influenced tunes focused around the perfect blend of controversial content and sentimental ballads. As for Directioner hopes for a reunion, well, that might take some time.