There are five members in the London-based English-Irish pop boy band One Direction: Niall James Horan, Zain Javadd “Zayn” Malik, Liam James Payne, Harry Edward Styles, and Louis William Tomlinson.
Malik, Payne, Styles and Tomlinson are from England; Horan is from Mullingar, County Westmeath, Republic of Ireland.
Zain Javadd “Zayn” Malik, born 12 January 1993, is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. His father, Yaser Malik, is British Pakistani, and his mother, Tricia (née Brannan) Malik, is of Irish and English descent. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa.
He grew up in East Bowling, was a pupil at Lower Fields Primary School, and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school. Malik did not fit in at his first two schools due to his mixed heritage. Malik has stated that he started taking pride in his appearance after moving schools at the age of twelve. Upon auditioning for The X Factor, he stated: “I was looking for an experience”.
He cites urban music as his main musical influence, growing up, he was into R&B and rap. He as well as other members of One Direction further notes artists such as Bruno Mars, as a “dream collaborator.”
Malik is Muslim, and once affirmed that by tweeting “La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah” (declaration of faith, meaning: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”). In June 2012, Malik’s approach to Islam was criticised by blogger Debbie Schlussel, who accused him of advertising Islam to young fans; at the same time, he was criticised, on Twitter, by conservative Muslims, for not taking Islamic doctrine seriously enough. In July 2014, during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, Malik tweeted the message “#FreePalestine” to his 13 million Twitter followers, reportedly provoking anger from One Direction fans in Israel.
Malik, along with bandmates Harry and Louis, support Manchester United. He also supports Pakistan’s national cricket team and once tweeted when Pakistan lost the Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-finals.
In 2010, when he was 17 years old, Zayn auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of The X Factor. He sang “Let Me Love You” by Mario. All three judges — Simon, Louis, and Nicole — gave him a ‘yes’. His audition was initially not broadcast, but was later shown on The Xtra Factor.
Zayn was noted for becoming nervous in bootcamp. When he was told he had to dance, he decided to remain backstage, effectively running the risk of elimination. When Simon noticed Zayn missing from the dance routine, he went backstage to convince him to return. Later on, Zayn said it was a lack of confidence that caused him to run away.
Following The X Factor, One Direction signed a record contract with Sony Music subsidiary Syco Music. They released their studio album, Up All Night. A few years later on February 29, 2012, Zayn left One Direction’s tour to return to the UK and be with his family due to the death of a family member.
Zayn smokes cigarettes. In late 2011, he announced that his New Year’s resolution was to quit smoking. However, he was photographed throughout 2012 still smoking. Zayn has stopped smoking ever since early 2013.
In late May 2014, a video — recorded in April — from fellow band member Louis Tomlinson’s phone was leaked by The Daily Mail, revealing the two boys alongside other members of their management team smoking cannabis in Peru. The footage additionally contained Zayn insulting the merchandise, stating that both them and the fans are tired of irrelevant facts such as “[Zayn’s] favorite color is blue”. Liam took it to Twitter to apologize for the boys’ behavior, explaining that their young age led them to make these mistakes.
Zayn’s parents are still together. He has three sisters and a dog named Boris.
Zayn dated fellow The X Factor contestant Geneva Lane briefly in 2010. At the time, he was 17 and she was 20. They grew close during their time on the show. However, due to Simon Cowell’s strict ban against the contestants dating, they denied there was a relationship. At the season seven finale, they finally revealed themselves as a couple when cameras captured them kissing. Zayn later confirmed on Twitter that they were together. After the break up, Geneva said, “Zayn’s a heartbreaker. When I found out he was seeing Rebecca I felt numb.” In a November 2011 interview she said that she and Zayn remained friends, but didn’t talk much because of his busy schedule.
In 2011, Zayn began dating The X Factor’s season seven runner-up, Rebecca Ferguson when he was 18, and she was 24. Their relationship drew media attention because of the six year age difference. They met while they were on The X Factor, but Rebecca stated that “It took a while before we looked at each other in a different light. There was no one particular moment, it just evolved over time.” Zayn was the one who pursued Rebecca. The relationship ended after four months in July 2011 with Rebecca stating at the time, “Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best.” However, in an interview in October 2012, Zayn opened up about the relationship by saying, “It shouldn’t have happened. It was just a wrong idea from the start. It did end quite badly, so we don’t talk any more. We’re not in touch at all.” Since then, Rebecca has alluded various times that Zayn was unfaithful.
Zayn is currently engaged to Perrie Edwards from The X Factor’s season eight winner, Little Mix. They met when One Direction performed on the eighth season of The X Factor . They were rumored to be dating, but both denied being in a relationship. In May 2012 the rumors appeared to be true when paparazzi snapped pictures of them kissing and riding a scooter. In an interview for Today that aired on May 30, 2012, Zayn confirmed having a girlfriend. On August 18, 2013, after a weekend together, Zayn proposed to her. She displayed the three diamond ring for the first time at One Direction ‘s This Is Us World Premiere in London. Perrie’s mum confirmed the engagement to a radio station and Zayn’s spokesperson confirmed that they were in fact engaged, but any other personal detail would not be released. He revealed to fans at a soundcheck in the Australian leg of the Take Me Home Tour that he proposed in front of both his and Perrie’s parents in their back garden during a specially set up “Outdoor Movie Night”