Speaking candidly about the five years he spent in the massively successful group, Malik confesses he left the band in March 2015 without making a single friend.
“Yeah. I have always been a bit like that, though – always a bit of an island. I don’t like to confer with too many people,” Malik said.
And while several of the remaining band seem to still be on good times, Liam Payne even lent a hand as a guest judge on X Factor with Louis Tomlinson, Malik says he’s no longer on speaking terms with any of them.
“Nah. I ain’t spoke to any of them for a long time, to be honest with you. That’s just the way it is. There’s things that happen and things that were said after I left…Snide things. Small things that I would never have expected.”
The 25-year-old also talks about the group’s explosive rise to fame. From being X Factor runner-ups in 2010 to one of the biggest bands of all time by 2012 – Malik barely had a moment to stop and process this massive transformation.
“We went from theatres, to arenas, to stadiums – there was never any sort of bridge between. Just boom, boom, boom.
“I guess that kind of progression to any mind – but especially when you’re 17, 18 – it kind of affects you a little bit. People take it different ways – especially when there are five different personalities. The relationships had broken apart,” he said.
But all is not lost, as Malik has found love with supermodel 23-year-old Gigi Hadid who he says helps keep him organised.
“Everything is great. She’s super-organised and I’m really not. It helps that she can get things together for me a little bit. I lean on her a lot,” he said.
The full interview is available in Vogue’s December issue.