By Maria Yagoda
Updated February 09, 2016 03:25 PM

1. He was actually born “Zain Malik” – not Zayn. He adopted the “Zayn” spelling when he performed on The X Factor.

2. Zayn’s pre-concert good luck ritual is brushing his teeth.

3. He planned on auditioning for the 2009 season of X Factor, but didn’t working up the nerve until 2010. (Thank the 1D gods that he waited a year.)

3. He’s scared of open water – a conditioned called “aquaphobia” – and can’t swim.

4. He can play the triangle.

5. His favorite part of a girl’s body? Her eyes. “I’m very attracted to a girl’s eyes. They don’t have to be a certain color. I think you can tell a lot by a girl’s eyes.”

6. He hates when people chew loudly with their mouths open.

7. He had his first kiss at 10 years old. “She was a little bit taller than me, so I had to stand on a brick.”

8. His first kiss was actually with a triplet, and he “kind of dated all three of them.”

9. He collected comic books when he was younger.

10. He was a difficult child. “I was a bit of a handful when I was a kid because I was quite hyperactive,” he told Glamour. “Even in the house my mum used to put me in my pram because I was so full-on.”

11. His first pet was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Tyson.

12. When he was a teenager, he was pretty sure he was 2Pac. “I was 17 and like, F— the world! I thought I was 2Pac and I m really not,” he told Billboard.

13. He loves Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

14. He likes to paint graffiti in his house. “There are these walls that look white from one side, but when you walk up the stairs, the inside is all graffiti,” he told Billboard.

15. He’s tried to quit smoking several times but hasn’t yet been able to.

16. He cooks to seduce women. He has “about six” of his mom’s signature dishes down, and he pulls them out “for the ladies when I need to.”

17. He thinks that Justin Bieber is “cute looking.” (Agreed, Zayn. Agreed.)

18. The crown tattoo on his arm represents the meaning of Malik – “king.”

19. On his right forearm, he has a ‘fingers crossed’ tattoo, which he told Seventeen represents the future – “a hope that everything goes well.”

20. He wants to be married by the time he’s 30.

21. He boxed from age 15 to 17.

22. In high school, acting was his main passion – with singing second. He played the lead in his school’s production of Bugsy Malone, as well as The Arabian Nights.

23. He attended several different schools throughout his adolescence. “I got expelled from a couple of schools for fighting,” Zayn told Sugar magazine.

24. His nickname in high school was “Z” (pronounced “Zed.”)

25. When he was little, he sang “I Believe I Can Fly” while wearing a green dressing gown, his mom told The Mirror. (He’s “banned” her from showing anyone the video.)

26. His favorite song is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

27. His shoe size is 8.5.