Not only has the singer found a successful solo career—most recently partnering with Taylor Swift on a new track for Fifty Shades Darker—and started dating one of the hottest models in the industry (hello, Gigi Hadid!), but he’s also feeling quite at ease with where he’s at in his life in general.
The 23-year-old joined The Elvis Duran Show in New York on Tuesday morning, getting surprisingly candid about both his music and even some personal details.
For example, when Duran asked about his hometown of Bradford, England, Malik revealed why it’s an important part of his life, still to this day.
“Where I’m from, people are very easily ready to pull you down to the earth when you get a bit big headed,” he explained. “I’m thankful for that because one of the things that I like to hold onto in my personality is the fact that I’m quite grounded.”
He also gives credit to his parents, Trisha and Yaser Malik.
“I think if you tell your parents at any age that you’re going to go off and share some massive dream like becoming a music star or an actor or something that’s not easily achieved, it’s going to be questionable…but they’ve fully supported me in everything,” he said. “I’m really grateful for my parents.”
However, Malik admitted he’s feeling pretty independent from his hometown and his parents lately, revealing he’s much less stressed after leaving 1D.
“I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the minute,” he said. “When I was in the band, there were times where I needed time away to go see my family and recollect my thoughts. But right now, I feel like I have the time to process things, and I’m doing things in my own space, so it’s a good place to be in.”
One way he’s made sure to stay level-headed is through writing. In fact, he recently released a self-titled book.
“I feel like writing anything down is a little bit of a therapy process…It’s a way of alleviating your mind and getting it out there,” he explained. “For me, it was a little bit of that. I kind of enjoyed it.”
He continued, “It was fun to reminisce on things and think about what was good and what was bad and make sense of it all. I didn’t have time to do that in the band.”
Now, he feels like he’s been able to take steps forward as a person.
“I feel myself growing every day as a person, as we all do, just getting older and wiser hopefully,” he laughed.
We’d certainly say so, Zayn!