The 29-year-old singer took to Instagram on Monday, August 15, to share a moody video of himself belting out “Night Changes.” The song appeared on the 2014 album Four, Malik’s final One Direction record before his departure.
Social media users were quick to celebrate the U.K. native’s a cappella rendition of the ballad, with some even wondering whether he was hinting at a potential band reunion. The clip came two months after the “Pillowtalk” crooner performed a snippet of the group’s 2013 hit “You & I.”
“If i had a nickel for every time zayn sang a one direction song in 2022, i’d have two nickels. which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened twice,” one fan commented on Monday’s video, while another added, “Zayn singing 1d songs in 2022 is literally the best thing could ever happen.”
Malik and his former bandmates — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne — auditioned for the X Factor UK as solo artists in 2010. Simon Cowell and the other judges decided to put the teens together in a group instead of cutting them from the competition. One Direction ended the season in third place and were later signed to Cowell’s record label, Syco.
After four albums with the band, Malik announced his exit in March 2015. The remaining members released a fifth record, Made in the A.M., that year before the group went on an indefinite hiatus and each member embarked on their own solo career journeys.
Since leaving One Direction, the “Dusk Till Dawn” artist has been candid about his experience in the band. In September 2017, Malik exclusively told Us Weekly that he wasn’t very close with Styles, now 28, at the height of the group’s fame.
“To be honest, I never really spoke to Harry even when I was in the band,” the “She” singer confessed. “So I didn’t really expect that much of a relationship with him when I left. And I haven’t [had one] to be honest. … We were basically going at, like, 500 miles per hour. We did everything to an extreme in the band.”
At the time, Malik hinted that he would be open to reuniting with his fellow 1D alums in the future. “Who knows? I’ve said it before: Never say never,” he told Us. “If I wanted to come back in 10, 15 years time, then yeah, why not? I don’t know. If I didn’t want to [be in the band] then, I might not. It just depends on how I’m feeling at that time.”
More recently, Payne, 28, shared his own thoughts on his time in the boy band — and called out Malik in the process. “There’s many reasons why I dislike Zayn and there’s many reasons why I’ll always, always be on his side. If I had had to go through what he went through — with his growth and whatever else,” the “Strip That Down” crooner said on the “Impaulsive” podcast with Logan Paul in May.
Payne later backtracked after his comments made headlines, clarifying that he doesn’t have any beef with the “Better” artist. “I was saying that there will always be things we disagree on but that I will always, always be on his side. That’s family,” he tweeted in May. “Zayn is my brother and I will stand by him forever.”
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