"It's a nice feeling to come out of a place where you're being told what to do," Malek, of post-One Direction life, told The FADER

By Jeff Nelson
Updated November 17, 2015 03:40 PM

Zayn Malik‘s sounding off on post-One Direction life – and teasing new music!

The former boy bander, 22, covers the new issue of The FADER, and the music magazine shared a video of Malik, set to his new song “Befour.”

“I don’t feel like people really know what I’m going to give them, musically,” Malik, who quit One Direction in March, told The FADER. “And once they hear it, I feel like they will understand me a little bit more, and they’ll understand why I did what I did, and why I left the band, and why I had to write this s— down. Because for five – not even for five years, for 10 years, this album has been in my brain, and it’s just been there, sat with me, needing to be out.”

Here’s everything we learned about Malik’s forthcoming album – and this next chapter of his career – from his latest interview.

His 1D Days Inspired Him
“Life experiences have just been the influences for the album and just what I’ve been through, especially in the last five years, with being in the band and everything.”

”We Recorded a Lot of It in the Woods”
The singer said laying down vocals in nature was “quite weird.”

Both His Roots and Childhood Tastes Shaped His Sounds

“I used to listen to a lot of Bollywood being a kid and stuff, so that definitely influenced the music a little bit. And then as I got older, I guess I just started listening to a lot of my dad’s old records, like ’90s stuff – a lot of R&B and a lot of rap.”

He’s Loving the ”Liberation” That Comes with Leaving One Direction
“It’s a nice feeling to come out of a place where you’re being told what to do just because of certain expectations or certain things people want to see. It is just all my perspective, and that’s fully liberating.”