Will Zayn Malik be the new Robbie, Justin or Brian (McFadden)?
The world was sent into shock in March when Zayn Malik announced his departure from 1D. Emotions were everywhere (You remember those hashtags: #AlwaysInOurHeartsZayn #ZaynComeBack. He didn’t listen.).
Since that day, which will be forever known as the day that Zayn Malik left One Direction, he’s been a busy boy.
After much speculation, the 22-year-old singer posted a picture of himself signing a contract with RCA Records. He went on to tweet that he will be making ‘real music’ (whatever that means).
— zayn (@zaynmalik) 29 July 2015
So, Zayn Malik has now joined the growing list of people who have gone from epic boy band to wannabe solo star. But what will the future have in store for Mr. Malik? History often repeats itself, and we reckon we’ve got it sussed out by taking a peek into the boy band history books.
Flashback to 1995 and we have exhibit A: Robbie Williams
The bad-boy member of Take That who left the band after a few too many arguments with management and went on to become one of the world’s best-selling solo artists.
First of all there are too many similarities, it’s almost crazy. They both came from a band of five members, they were both the first to leave, and they both left after five years. Zayn literally did the same as Robbie Williams, but 20 years later (Robbie was with Take That from 1990 until 1995, while Zayn was with 1D from 2010 until 2015).
Robbie was reported to have lost interest in Take That as his musical ideas weren’t listened to… Zayn now wants to make ‘real music’. And they both expressed a taste for hip hop and rap after their departures. Is Robbie Zayn or is Zayn Robbie?
What can Zayn Malik expect if he’s actually Robbie Williams?
Well, Robbie’s debut album Life Thru A Lens has sold over four million copies worldwide, and it includes what is arguably his most beloved track ever: Angels. It’s safe to say Robbie did alright. In total, he’s reported to have sold over 77 million albums and singles worldwide, and he is the best-selling male British solo artist. Maybe he’ll have competition now Zayn Malik has arrived on the scene?
Plus, if Zayn Malik is actually Robbie Williams, we can hope for a 1D and Zayn reunion. Robbie got back with Take That in 2010 to release their Progress album.
Route 2 for Zayn Malik? Follow ex-NSYNC member Justin Timberlake’s path
If Zayn fancies going down the route of solo star and superstar actor, then Justin Timberlake should be his new role model.
The singer rose to fame in NSYNC, who became one of the biggest boy bands of all time (they played the Super Bowl, Olympics and Academy Awards, for goodness sake) with hits such as This I Promise You, Tearin Up My Heart and I Want You back. A slight difference to Zayn, Justin never technically left the band; NSYNC just went on a hiatus – for the record we’re still holding out for their return.
Since then, Justin has firmly established himself as one of the most popular solo artists around the world. Justin Timberlake released a slew of hits like Cry Me A River, Rock Your Body, SexyBack… basically, all the songs you’ll dance to on a night out.
In 2013, he quite literally brought sexy back with The 20/20 Experience and a massive tour. Oh, and in between being an awesome megastar, he starred in blockbuster hits, including Bad Teacher, In Time and Friends With Benefits.
Justin Timberlake seems like a viable option for Zayn Malik. He may have to go to acting school, but he has potential, and that (as they say, usually on The X Factor) is everything.
Option 3: Go to Australia and become Brian McFadden
The Irish singer-songwriter Brian McFadden rose to fame with Westlife in the late ’90s. First up, 1D and Westlife both have relations with Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. Westlife was signed to Simon, as are One Direction.
Unlike 1D, Westlife never seemed to do well in the US (although, in the UK they had an impressive 14 No.1 singles). A bit like 1D, Brian McFadden announced his departure around a tour. His departure was three weeks before their world tour – Zayn Malik’s was during it!
Brian McFadden started out well. He enjoyed a No.1 with his debut single, Real To Me, but was not as successful in the UK with further releases. However, he proved a hit in Australia where he lived for a while. He enjoyed some chart-topping hits with Just Say So and Almost, and he was a judge on Australia’s Got Talent.
All in all, the Brian McFadden route is a bit of a departure from the status (we imagine) Zayn is used to. It’d be a nice life, but we’re not sure if it would give him everything he seems to be craving right now.
Who is Zayn Malik the solo star?
Only time will tell which route Zayn Malik will go down. Australian uproot, big screen movie star or a 1D reunion in 10 years’ time a la Robbie (after a hugely successful solo career, obvs).
Whatever happens to Zayn, the One Direction boys don’t seem to be missing him too much. Their first single as a four-piece was Drag Me Down, which charted at No.1 in a silly amount of countries (14 to be exact). They’re also still kicking butt on their On The Road Again world tour, which One Direction will tour around the UK and Ireland in 2015.