Zayn Malik’s solo career came into sharper focus last night when the former One Directioner made his solo television debut on The Tonight Show. But instead of singing his chart-topping hit “Pillowtalk” (number one in 68 countries, as Jimmy Fallon pointed out), Malik went in a different, um, direction and debuted a new song off his upcoming record called “It’s You.”
As People notes, the haunting track is an autopsy of his split from former fiancée Perrie Edwards. “I just felt like I needed to put myself out there on that just because it was a form of therapy for me and it did help get me through some shit,” Malik told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show, about writing the track. Malik and Edwards ended their engagement last August, just four months after he left One Direction to take his career in a new, er, direction.
As for the new sound, “It’s You” is a further indication that Malik will be avoiding the bright, catchy pop that made One Direction a global phenomenon, instead opting for a more brooding sound that emphasizes his arresting vocals as much as it does the metallic production. You’ll hear more of it when Malik’s new album Mind of Mine comes out on March 25. Speaking of which, the cover of the album was just revealed and it features a baby Malik with tatted up arms. Check it out below.