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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Poetry On The Odyssey: Chasing Daffodils

My Vision Is Clear


In the day we chase daffodils

cradling their petals oh so delicately

as they fan their beauty in the sunlight

we hold white knuckled hands

ambling through the meadow

care free

but as the sky grows dark

and our vision blurs

that hand grows claws

painful to the touch, we release each other

and take off,

running so swiftly from the bears and the wolves and the vultures

that we forget to open our eyes

and find strength in each other

To combat these demons

with the force of a thousand warriors,

instead of silhouettes dancing in the night

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