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Zayn Malik gets candid about One Direction breakup in new interview: ‘We got sick of each other’

He shared the first thing he wanted to do after he left the band: call his mom.
Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik opened up on "Call Her Daddy" about his decision to leave One Direction.Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic
/ Source: TODAY

March 25, 2015: A date Directioners know well — the day Zayn Malik announced he would be leaving boy band One Direction.

The announcement sent fans into a frenzy over his sudden departure, but Malik said on the July 12 episode of podcast "Call Her Daddy" — his first interview in six years — he had actually been thinking about leaving the band for awhile.

"I think I'd known for a minute," Malik said of his decision to leave. "There was a lot of politics going on. Certain people were doing certain things, certain people didn't want to sign contracts. I knew something was happening, so I just got ahead of the curve if I'm being honest with you.

"I was like, 'I'm just gonna get out of here,'" he continued. "I think this is done and I'd just seen it, and I completely selfishly wanted to be the first person to go and make my own record, if I'm being completely honest with you. I was like, I'm gonna jump the gun here for the first time."

One Direction
Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan of One Direction in 2010.Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Malik, 30, who performed with the band for about five years before leaving, added he is competitive and he wanted to be the first person from the band to make his own music and do his own thing.

He said "underlying issues" in his friendships with other members of the band also played a role in his decision to leave.

"We'd been together every day for five years and we got sick of each other, if I'm being completely honest," he said. "We were close, you know, we did crazy things with each other and that nobody else in the world will ever understand or have the experiences that we've shared with each other. I look back on it now in a much fonder light than I would have if I just left. There were great experiences and great times, but yeah, we had just run our course."

He said he thought Directioners' idea of his friendships with Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan was similar to how he thinks about the characters on the TV show "Friends."

"It's an idea, innit? When you watch 'Friends,' you don't want Joey cussing out Chandler. You want these people to be best friends," he said.

He added he wasn't afraid to announce he was leaving the band, and shared the first thing he wanted to do once the news went public.

"The first thing I wanted to do was call my mom," he said. "I just wanted to call and be like, 'Is it OK if I come home? Like is this good?' And she was like, 'Yeah,' so as soon as she said that, I was like, 'Yeah, I'm good. Like, I'm done.'"

He continued: "I didn't really care about what anybody else thought."