In a new interview with The Fader, the former One Direction singer was asked about the criticism aimed at his “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” collaborator. Malik waxed poetic about not paying attention to other singers’ careers and personal lives and drowning out his own haters. “In terms of relating to it, of course I relate to things being written about us all the time,” he explained. “But I don’t listen to it.”
He continued: “I rate her as an artist, I think she’s cool, I think she’s successful, and I think she deserves her success because she’s worked hard. That’s just how I look at it. I did a song with her, it was fun, she was professional. She gets on with my girlfriend [Gigi Hadid], they’re good friends. I don’t have a bad word to say about her. She’s cool.”
Malik also explained why he didn’t attend this year’s MTV VMAs, where he and Swift won the Best Collaboration award for their duet. “I was in the studio, working,” he said. “I was writing.” (Swift also missed the show.)
Swift in August grabbed headlines with the release of “LWYMMD,” the first single off her forthcoming album Reputation. The song and its Easter-egg-packed music video are believed to touch on her feuds with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry.
In addition to Malik, Swift has received support from her pal Todrick Hall, who dances in the “LWYMMD” video; Joseph Kahn, who directed the music video; and her friend Luna Dunham, whose boyfriend Jack Antonoff co-wrote and produced the song with Swift.
The Fader interview also focused on Malik’s forthcoming sophomore solo album. The Sia-featured lead single “Dusk Till Dawn” is out now.