zayn malik
Zayn Malik with Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, before leaving One Direction in March 2015 Reuters

Zayn Malik revealed he is still in touch with Liam Payne after leaving One Direction. The 23-year-old singer quit the boy band in March 2015.

During an interview with NME magazine, Perrie Edwards' former boyfriend talked about his relationship with the band members, after leaving the group. He said: "I'm still probably the closest to Liam. We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single. Which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award. It was a good chat. We hadn't met in a long time so we want to meet up."

"I tried to have contact [other members] but nobody's reached out. So…whatever," he added.

Malik also talked about the media pressure he had to face following the announcement. He said: "You can be in the eye of it if you choose to be. Or you can let it overwhelm you. See, I've kept a little bit of my sanity. I understand how the media works. Journos gotta earn their money. Paps have got to earn their money."

Meanwhile, Louis Tomlinson had spoken about Malik's departure from the band, during an interview with Australian radio station KIIS FM. He told radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O how the group continued as a four-piece after Malik left: "I think it's like anything, it's a difficult time at first in any job when you lose part of your crew but in reality it ended up being a positive for us because we knew the four of us really wanted to make it work and I think we're showing that."

"We carried on making the record and business as usual. He had his own reasons; the bottom line is he did fall out of love with the music, which is absolutely fine," he added.