Louis Tomlinson’s Opinion on Zayn Malik Choosing Not to Tour After One Direction Departure

Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik appeared to share a special bond while in One Direction together. Tomlinson has spoken in the past about taking on a leadership role in the band since he was the oldest. It was evident he took all the singers under his wing, and a connection with Malik was clear to fans paying attention. But Malik departed the band in 2015, leaving Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan to pursue his own path. Tomlinson weighed in on Malik’s career since.

Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik sit down on stage during One Direction tour
Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson on stage for One Direction’s ‘Where We Are’ tour on Sep. 11, 2014 in Pasadena, California | Jeff Kravitz/OneD/Getty Images

Zayn Malik left One Direction prior to the band’s hiatus in 2015

Malik surprised fans — AKA “Directioners” — in March 2015 when he shared that he would be leaving One Direction. His statement, made in a Facebook post, detailed that he wanted to live life as a “normal 22-year-old.” At that time, Malik had been touring practically nonstop since the band found fame on The X Factor. The statement assured fans that One Direction would continue on with the remaining four singers.

Several months later, One Direction changed its tune and told fans that Styles, Tomlinson, Payne, and Horan would be taking a “hiatus.” They claimed it would last 18 months, but the hiatus has gone on nearly six years.

In the meantime of the hiatus, all of the members have put out their own solo music. Malik was the first to put out independent music after his One Direction days.

Zayn Malik has released 3 solo albums after One Direction

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Malik proved his new, more sophisticated sound after One Direction with his 2016 album, Mind of Mine. He peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his first single, “Pillowtalk.” His next highest-ranking song is his 2017 duet with Taylor Swift, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker),” which peaked at No. 2 on the same chart.

He followed up Mind of Mine with his 2018 sophomore album, Icarus Falls. Then, his latest album, Nobody Is Listening, came out in January 2021.

Malik has kept a low-key profile since leaving One Direction. He promoted his newest album in audio interviews, and lives on a farm in Pennsylvania while raising his child with model Gigi Hadid.

Louis Tomlinson shared his opinion on Zayn Malik not touring his music

Tomlinson and Malik’s relationship appeared to have been strained after Malik left One Direction. The duo has spoken about the fractured bond in multiple interviews. On The Zach Sang Show in 2019, Tomlinson discussed Malik’s choice to not tour his albums after the hectic nature of One Direction’s previous touring schedule.

“There are some people who don’t perform, but they still craft records,” Sang posed his upcoming question. “Do you see them as an artist?”

“When I say what success means, it’s what it means to me individually, I think,” Tomlinson replied. “Everyone else has their own goals and explanation of the word. Some artists are different.”

He reflected that to his own experience when he first started out as a solo artist. Tomlinson said that people asked him if he wanted to make solo albums, and he didn’t know what else he could do at that point.

“Everyone’s journey is different, I suppose,” he said. Tomlinson also mentioned that he doesn’t think he nor Malik are “mature enough” to have a “conversation” about their relationship and mend the past just yet.

However, it’s clear Tomlinson does support Malik’s decision to do what’s best for him in the music business to find his own success.