Zayn Malik is back — solo and secured to a global record deal.
Just four months after his departure from One Direction, a recent announcement from RCA Records and Syco Entertainment — the latter a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music — declared Malik's solo debut. Naturally, Cowell couldn't be more psyched. He was, after all, one of the judges from The X Factor series who discovered Malik and the other One Direction members. Meanwhile, Peter Edge and Tom Corson of RCA lamented on Malik as a "genius songwriter with an incredible voice".
But hold up — before we get excited, here are some questions we really want to ask Malik:
1. What is #realmusic?
Malik tweeted this the minute the deal was announced. We had to ask: What's his definition of real music? One Direction did sell more than 54 million albums worldwide — was that not real enough for the crooner? Shall we expect more heart-wrenching, soul-led tracks about first world pains and just how hard it was to grow up in the spotlight?
2. Will the real Zayn Malik please stand up?
Another hour, another cryptic tweet. Who's the real Malik? Did we just go through five years of his coming of age journey (from an impressionable young lad auditioning in Manchester to a successful singer) with an impostor? We feel the need to take a day off to let this revelation set in.
3. What's a normal 22-year old?
When Malik left One Direction in March, he did say that he wanted to "be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight." We're not sure what his definition of a normal 22-year old is, but it does suggest someone signed to the same record company representing artists such as Sia, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters and Kodaline. The cash cows are moo-ing.