Zayn Malik Finally Finds His Voice In 'Mind Of Mine'

Zayn Malik Finally Finds His Voice In 'Mind Of Mine'

Finding the real Zayn, and liking him.

Zayn Malik leaving One Direction was a top headline on every news platform on March 25, 2015.

Prior to Zayn’s surprise departure, people speculated about someone leaving One Direction ever since “What Makes You Beautiful” reached commercial success worldwide. They bet all their money on Harry Styles. To them it made sense; he was the good-looking press bait who had a charming personality and a good voice. People predicted that once the band started their downward spiral, the rest of the members fade into oblivion while Harry Styles had the career that would be comparable to Justin Timberlake. Although they had their suspicions, no one could’ve ever seen Zayn's departure coming, especially at the height of One Direction’s success. While it surprised everyone, it definitely didn’t surprise me. In a way, Zayn leaving One Direction made sense.

Anyone with eyes could tell that Zayn wasn’t entirely happy in One Direction and the reasons extended beyond the pressures of fame. In a way he was content; he was in a world-famous, record-breaking boy band, had a gorgeous fiancé and more money than anyone close to his age could ever imagine having. However, if you have a minute, listen to any One Direction album, starting from "Up All Night" to "Four." Then go back and listen to any solo interview that Zayn has ever done during his time in One Direction. His influences were more urban, with R. Kelly, Usher and Prince listed among his favorite artists. He sang “Let Me Love You” by Mario – an R&B artist – for his "X-Factor" audition.

Once One Direction had more of a hand on creating their own music, there was no trace of Zayn’s influences anywhere. The band’s music had every trace of pop and rock and showcased every members’ vocals, but there was nothing that screamed Zayn.

If you add that to the fact that all members of One Direction had a certain image they had to maintain, it’s no wonder why Zayn made the decision to leave, albeit I can imagine it was a difficult decision.

Although I can’t really call myself a true One Direction fan, I am fascinated by Zayn. I realize that that last sentence made me sound like a stalker, but it was always weird to me how someone who was so heavily influenced by R&B and hip-hop could just stand by and sing songs that he wasn’t too passionate about singing. That’s why he needed a solo career. He needed that artistic freedom to publicly become whoever he wants to be. When Zayn released “PILLOWTALK”, he sent that message to everyone: this is who he is, this is the kind of music he wants to make and he’s not apologizing for it. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Zayn’s first solo album,"Mind of Mine", is the kind of music I expected Zayn Malik to make. Listening to it reminded me of falling in love for the first time. The music was exciting and gave a fresh take on life. It made me feel sexy and for four minutes, I walked up and down my hallway thinking I was a Victoria’s Secret model. Someone then came through the door and I was immediately snapped out of my fantasy. The entire album isn’t life-changing or ground-breaking musically, but it makes you feel something because of the background. For the very first time, we get to hear Zayn Malik’s voice. His voice – both his vocal ability and his artistic voice – are finally being unleashed onto the world.

I didn’t realize that I was looking for the real Zayn Malik until he was presented in front of me in the form of this album. Now that I’ve found him, I can’t wait to hear more from him. He has an interesting voice.

If you want my personal recommendation, listen to “BeFoUr” and “wRoNg”, the latter track featuring Kehlani. Those two tracks alone prove that Zayn is on his way to bonafide superstardom. He’s not the next Justin Timberlake or the next anyone; he’s the first Zayn.

Cover Image Credit: Zayn Malik

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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8 Hudson Valley Places You Need To Explore, Through The Eyes Of A Local

A list of hiking spots, waterfalls, coffee shops, and villages in the Hudson Valley of New York.


Poet's WalkPoet's WalkSo, you're a city dweller or an incoming student from outside the Hudson Valley? Well then, I suppose it is my obligation to welcome you...for I am one of the genuine locals.


Erin Forbes

Ah, yes! Rhinebeck, New York, my hometown...and the perfect destination for the hipster 'weekender'. You can't blame anyone, really. It is a historic, picturesque town, full of cute shops and restaurants. The village is surrounded by endless forests and farmland. If you're looking for a place to explore, or just visit for the day, Rhinebeck will always be there to welcome you.

Poet's Walk

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Not just a place for poets, although it is sure to provide writers with a fresh perspective. This walking trail winds through the dappled woodlands and meadows of Red Hook, NY. In the middle of the park, visitors discover a gazebo, crafted from gnarled driftwood. The path leads to a lookout point beside the Hudson River, before winding down into the forest. It's the perfect place for a walk in the sunset or a photo shoot with friends. In addition, the park is not far from the village of Red Hook, which is home to Annabelle's Village Bake Shop and an assortment of cafés.

Greig Farm

Erin Forbes

Growing up in Northern Dutchess County, so many of my childhood memories trace back to the pumpkin patches and apple orchards of Greig Farm. It has always been one of those autumn staples, like crisp air, pumpkin spice, and warm tea. There is nothing like an evening spent feeding goats and swinging under the willow trees. During the summer months, locals roam the fields, picking fresh berries to fill their buckets. The Hudson Valley Farmer's Market can be found in one of the barns on every weekend. If you are searching for a place to spend a Sunday afternoon, look no further. Greig Farm is also home to Papa's Best Batch, a local 'sammich' stand that is open throughout the warm months of the year.

Split Rock

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This swimming hole is located in the Mohonk Mountains of New Paltz, NY! On hot summer days, locals drive up to Split Rock and take a dip under the little waterfall. It isn't far from the parking lot, so there is no need to fret over a long walk in the heat. It's a wonderful place to explore.

Bash Bish Falls

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Another waterfall! This one is not open to swimmers; however, that doesn't mean you can't dip your toes in the water. If you enjoy hiking, don't miss the chance to visit Bash Bish Falls, which is located on the edge of the New York/Massachusetts state border.

Hyde Park Drive-In Movies

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Not far from Marist College, there is a classic drive-in movie theatre, just across from the F.D.R. estate. So pack up the trunk with some popcorn and warm blankets! Most of the latest films are shown on the big screen at Hyde Park Drive-in, under the countless stars.

Bannerman's Castle

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Have you ever taken the train through Beacon, NY? If so, perhaps you have noticed the castle ruins that rest on a small island in the middle of the Hudson River. Pollepel Island is quite abandoned; however, Native Americans once believed it to be haunted. The remainder of the castle is an echo of Hudson Valley history, which you can learn more about on one of the boat and hiking tours of the island.

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