Zayn Malik insists he “didn’t jump on the bandwagon” with new country album

Zayn Malik has insisted that he “didn’t jump on the bandwagon” with his new country album ‘Room Under The Stairs’.

READ MORE: Zayn Malik – ‘Nobody Is Listening’ review: ex-boybander crafts quietly purposeful pop

The former One Direction member recently spoke to Nylon about his fourth studio album. He shared that while creating his LP, he was not following in the footsteps of his fellow colleagues such as Beyonce, Post Malone and other pop acts who have dived into the Country genre.

“I was pretty much on my farm having a glass of whiskey and listening to a bit of [Chris] Stapleton by the fire with my dog, playing guitar,” Zayn told the publication. He went on to add that though he’s “proud” of ‘Room Under The Stairs’, he worries about those comparisons. “People need to know I didn’t jump on the bandwagon,” he said.

He continued, “People are in search of a little bit more depth from the lyrics. In the Top 40 charts, a lot of mainstream music feels a bit wishy-washy. The songs are fucking fire. You know what I mean? They’re catchy. They’re playing on the radio and they do their job, but people are looking for a little bit more.”

The singer-songwriter then opened up on how the likes of Stapleton and Willie Nelson inspired him, sharing: “I could really hear their lyrics and their pain and their growth and the life lessons. I didn’t feel like there was a Chris Stapleton song that comes on and he sounds like a fuckboy, right?

“He doesn’t do it! He’s not out here saying, ‘Bitches in the club! We’re drinking Bacardi!’ Or whatever these young kids use now. He’s not like that. He’s got class, right? He’s telling you a real grown man’s story. And I respected the f— out of it. I was like, ‘This is cool. It’s something I can do.’”

‘Room Under The Stairs’ is set for release on Friday (May 17).  It will mark Zayn’s fourth solo record overall, and his first with Mercury Record, which also houses the likes of Noah KahanPost Malone and Lily Rose.

Zayn’s last release – 2021’s  ‘Nobody Is Listening’ – earned a three-star review, with Dhruva Balram writing for NME: “‘Nobody is Listening’ has its flaws, but Zayn is clearly working out a few chinks in his armour, and this comes across as a step in a new and fresh direction for the enigmatic artist.”

In other news, Malik recently announced his first-ever solo live show in London. The ‘Pillowtalk’ singer will be making his debut live appearance at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on May 17.

He has yet to perform live since launching his solo career back in 2016. He cancelled what was to be his debut appearance in June of that same year, citing “the worst anxiety of my career”.

Elsewhere, the singer recently reflected on his departure from One Direction, expressing his regret for not “enjoying” the band before leaving.

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