How Many of Zayn Malik’s Biggest Hits Can You Name?
Since he left One Direction, Zayn Malik forged a distinct musical identity for himself. His mix of electronica and R&B draws comparisons to the music of The Weeknd, Usher, and Chris Brown. Although he hasn’t been as ubiquitous as his former bandmate Harry Styles, Malik has had several hits over the past few years. Here are his most successful songs on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. ‘It’s You’
From Marvin Gaye and Prince to Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke, male R&B singers are often known for falsetto vocals. On his low-key song “It’s You,” Malik proves he is an heir to this singing tradition. Malik also proves he has a lot of musical range outside of his work with One Direction.
Pop hits are generally fast or moderate in tempo. “It’s You,” on the other hand, is an incredibly slow song. On paper, this track should probably be boring. However, Malik’s vulnerable lyrics and memorable vocal performance make for a hypnotic listen.
4. ‘Like I Would’
Malik’s music is usually 100% modern. A time when successful singers from Adele to Meghan Trainor to Lizzo often take inspiration from earlier decades, Malik is conspicuously uninterested in oldies. “Like I Would” is a glorious exception to the rule.
“Like I Would” has a throbbing 1980s baseline that recalls the best of the new wave genre. As cross-genre pollination is incredibly popular, the song’s combination of new wave, pop rock, and worldbeat music should have made it a huge hit. Alas, the song remains a hidden treasure.
3. ‘Dusk Till Dawn’
Sadly, this song has nothing to do with Quentin Tarantino’s movie From Dusk Till Dawn or its spin-off TV series. If only there actually was a Malik song about evil vampires. That said, “Dusk Till Dawn” is still pretty good.
Malik and Sia are two of the most unique vocalists of our time. A duet between the two of them might sound strange, but “Dusk Till Dawn” works beautifully. The song resembles Sia’s solo work more than Malik’s, but it proves Malik is adept at taking on the styles of others.
2. ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’
Here’s another out-of-left-field duet. Malik and Taylor Swift are very different artists, but they have great chemistry on this song. ‘‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” was composed for Fifty Shades Darker and it perfectly captures that film’s sultry tone.
The Fifty Shades franchise produced several successful singles. Artists from Halsey to Ellie Goulding to The Weeknd have contributed songs to the films. Even among that luminous company, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” stands as the best track from the series.
When Malik became a solo artist, it would have been very easy for him to perpetually replicate One Direction’s sound. Instead, he decided to become a provocative R&B singer. The risk paid off handsomely, as “Pillowtalk” is one of the best pop singles of the 2010s. Few pop hits embody the dark side of love as well as this one.