Zayn Malik has spoken out for the first time since he announced he was leaving One Direction and said he feels “upset” for letting the fans down.
The 22-year-old singer quit the boy band’s world tour last week after being “signed off with stress” and returned to the UK.
On Wednesday he announced he was splitting from 1D for good to live a “normal life”.
In his first interview, Zayn told the Sun: “I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while … I only ever tried to do it for the fans.
“I’m only upset because I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way.
“It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I can’t do that anymore because it’s not real to me.”
“I’ve never felt more in control. I feel like I’m doing what’s right, right by myself and right by the boys. I feel good”
Zayn denied there had been any negativity between him and the rest of the band, before or after he made his decision.
And he insisted he did not compare his situation to that of Robbie Williams who left Take That in 1995 due to ill-feeling among the group.
“My band has been really supportive”, he insisted.
Zayn revealed that the rest of the band, Harry Styles, 21, Louis Tomlinson, 23, Niall Horan, 21, and Liam Payne, 21, are keen to keep going as One Direction.
“They still want to do it for a while … I think they’re going to do OK for a while,” he said. “I think they’re going to be cool.”
Shortly before Zayn quit the band’s tour, a picture emerged of him with his arm around a girl in a nightclub in Thailand.
But he stated he is still engaged to long-term partner Perrie Edwards, of Little Mix.
“She’s a good girl … she’s always supportive”, he said of her.
I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous fucks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x— zayn (@zaynmalik) March 18, 2015
And now that he is no longer a member of the most famous boyband in the world, Zayn revealed he is planning to “chill” for a while.