ARTIST PROFILE

Zayn

Name: Zain Javadd Malik

Birthday: 12 January, 1993

Fav Dish: Chicken

Zain Javadd Malik was born on 12 January 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. His father, Yaser Malik, is British Pakistani, and his mother, Tricia Brannan Malik, is English, and of part Irish descent. His mother converted to Islam upon marriage. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He was raised in a working class family and grew up in a working-class neighbourhood.

Malik grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. He attended Lower Fields Primary School and Tong High School in Bradford. Malik has stated that he started taking pride in his appearance after moving schools at the age of twelve, and as a teenager, he took performing arts courses and appeared in school productions. He grew up listening to his father’s urban music records, primarily R&B, hip hop, and reggae. He starting writing raps when he was at school, and sang on stage for the first time when singer Jay Sean visited his school. Malik also did boxing for two years from the ages of 15 to 17. Prior to his music career, he was originally planning to pursue a career as an English teacher.

Malik aspired to pursue a career in music from a young age leading him to audition as a solo artist for the British reality television music competition The X Factor in 2010. After being eliminated as a solo performer, Malik was brought back into the competition, along with four other contestants, to form the boy band that would become known as One Direction. During his time in the group, they released the albums Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013), and Four(2014).

Malik split from the boy band in March 2015 and signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records. Adopting a more R&B music style, with his debut studio album Mind of Mine (2016) and its lead single, “Pillowtalk”, Malik became the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US with a debut single and debut album. Malik is the recipient of several accolades, including an American Music Award and a Billboard Music Award.

Malik began dating singer Perrie Edwards of Little Mix in early 2012; they got engaged in 2013. On 4 August 2015, Malik’s representative confirmed that the couple had ended their engagement.

Malik has been in a relationship with American model Gigi Hadid since 2015. Hadid appeared in Zayn’s video for Pillowtalk. They appear together on the controversial August 2017 cover of Vogue displaying “gender fluid” fashion, though neither of them identifies as gender fluid. Vogue apologized for the misrepresentation, as the story was meant to highlight the trend of couples sharing clothes. Malik and Hadid also did a Versus (Versace) campaign as a couple, with Hadid as the photographer.

Malik is Muslim. He speaks English, Urdu and can read Arabic. He has been the target of anti-Muslim slurs, which led to him deleting his Twitter account in 2012. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, Malik posted the message “#FreePalestine” on Twitter, resulting in him receiving angry responses and death threats. He has since avoided publicly expressing political views. He said that, after the release of his debut album, he plans to pursue an academic degree in English or literature (which he originally intended to study before his music career), while at the same time writing his next album.

He is an official ambassador of the British Asian Trust charity group, contributing to improving the lives of disadvantaged people living in South Asia. With his former group One Direction, he contributed to African fundraising events with Comic Relief. In March 2016, he bought a box at Bradford City for underprivileged children to watch football, named after his maternal grandfather Walter Brannan.

In March 2016, he bought a box at Bradford City for underprivileged children to watch football, named after his maternal grandfather Walter Brannan.

 

Close