For the past month, the frenzy of both One Direction fans and those who dislike One Direction have come together supporting a new on-the-rise artist, Zayn Malik. Zayn released his first album titled Mind of Mine on March 25 with every song reaching a position on the top of the iTunes charts. With a complete mixture of R&B, pop, folk, dub, soul, funk, electronic, Qawwali, hip hop, reggae, classical and soft rock, Mind of Mine has entered its own genre of music. With so much expansion on his album, Zayn has provided a song for every person to enjoy. Although he had a momentous start to a new career and high expectations to succeed, Zayn did not disappoint.
Mind of Mine Deluxe edition features 18 tracks of a generally infectious beat and a sexy sound. As Zayn intended to make mature music to suit an older fan base than he’s been used to, the innuendos and swearing on the album make this desire hold true. Tracks including “PILLOWTALK” and “TiO” have virtually placed themselves as the top songs with explicit and sexual content. Although the new sound and lyric content Zayn has provided has gained an older and more gender-neutral liking, many younger fans have fallen to dislike the sound.
The cultural aspect of Zayn’s album includes track “INTERMISSION: Flower” that provides an insight into the language and culture Zayn was raised with. Using Zayn’s first language of Urdu, the lyrics, “Jab tak is mohabbat ka phool na khilay / Tab tak is dill ko sukoon na miley / Dil day mujhe” translates to “Until the flower of this love has blossomed / This heart won’t be at peace / Give me your heart.” With the addition of these lyrics and the cultural sense of the album, Zayn expands his music reach to others who enjoy or are part of the culture as well.
It’s commonly known that Zayn quit One Direction, the most popular boy band of the 21st century, on March 25 of 2015. With the iconic release of Zayn’s Mind of Mine exactly a year after his exit from the band, attention was gained and expectations were set high by critics and lost fans. Zayn claimed to have been unhappy in his old band with a generally younger female fan base and nonstop worldwide touring for five years. Zayn also has claimed that the pop and heart throbbing sound of the music by One Direction wasn’t genuine for him as he aimed to release what he called, “real” music on his solo album.
From transitioning past One Direction’s teen heartthrob sound to creating a unique mature sound for himself, Zayn has overpassed expectations. Being placed at the top of the charts and collaborating with major artists, Zayn has outdone what he claimed as, “making real music” just for himself. Mind of Mine is able to reach so many types of music lovers with its diverse tracks. While the sound and innuendos may not be for everyone, especially younger fans, they provide a new insight into Zayn and just what’s inside that mind of his.
Brooke Prichard, Guest Reporter