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Zayn Malik at 16th NRJ Music Awards - Red Carpet

Zayn Malik broke hearts when he stepped away from One Direction, and now he’s breaking his silence about the sudden move.

After news hit that he quit the group, Zayn spoke with The Sun about feeling more in control of his life, the band ultimately supporting his decision, going solo, and more.

On quitting One Direction:

“It is crazy and wild and a bit mad. But at the same time I’ve never felt more in control in my life. And I feel like I’m doing what’s right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good…My band has been really supportive. They’ve been cool about it. And they understand that, you know, it’s not real to me anymore.”

On wanting out of the band for a while:

“I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people’s happiness.”

On letting his fans down:

I feel like I’ve let the fans down but I can’t do this anymore. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not the real me.”

PEOPLE reports that the 22-year-old singer is looking forward to the future:

But now, he’s looking forward to what lies ahead. Malik was spotted heading into a recording studio the day after he announced he was leaving One Direction, and told the newspaper that he’s been working on his own music for some time. The singer’s recording his first solo release with producer Naughty Boy, who has worked with Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith, and is even experimenting with rapping.

Way to pull a Beyoncé. We can’t wait to hear what Zayn’s got in store.

SOURCE: PEOPLE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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