It's likely that Zayn just wanted to set the record straight on the whole thing before a million more rumors got stirred up. Check out what he said about why he quit, what's next for him (solo career confirmed?) and how Perrie Edwards has been through it all.
Overall, Zayn said everything "is crazy and wild and a bit mad, but at the same time I've never felt more in control...and I feel like I'm doing what's right - right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good."
His biggest reservation about the decision, however, is feeling like he's letting fans down, but ultimately he had to make the choice for himself, explaining: "I did try to do something that I wasn't happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people's happiness. And that was mainly the fans. I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them. And basically, I'm only upset because I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way."
He added, "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not real to me."
Zayn also touched on rumors that there may be some tension between him and his (former) bandmates, but he assured that the buzz "couldn't be more wrong," adding, "it's been really good for me, because I feel it's been a bit different to when other bands have broken up or when a member has left or whatever. My band has been really supportive. They've been really cool about it. And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore."
And then there's the rumors of his solo career, especially after he was spotted heading into a recording studio straight off of his breakup with the band. According to The Sun article, Zayn did confirm he's recording his first solo release with producer Naughty Boy, but explained, "I'm just going to write and relax and chill."
As for Perrie, he said, "Yeah, she's alright, man. She's a good girl. She's always supportive. She's always good, man."
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Gallery | One Direction's Instagram: Best of Zayn Malik