Zayn Malik on leaving One Direction: 'I just knew it was my time'

Zayn Malik left One Direction in March 2015.

Zayn Malik has opened up about his decision to leave One Direction. The 23-year-old singer quit the boy band in March 2015.

In an interview with Dazed, Gigi Hadid's boyfriend revealed he was not comfortable being in a group. He said: "I just knew it was my time. I knew I wanted to do something different and start expressing the way I felt about certain things."

He added: "I have always liked [RCA], just because they signed f**king Elvis and a lot of people I look up to. I went and met with Pete (Edge, CEO) and we had a couple conversations and I really liked his vibe. They seemed to treat me as though I was an artist for the first time, which felt really cool. And they respected the music. I had written a lot of it before I went with RCA and they liked where I was going and wanted to give me freedom so I was like, 'Cool.'"

Meanwhile, Louis Tomlinson has previously spoken about Malik's departure from the band. During an interview with Australian radio station KIIS FM, he talked about how the group continued as a four-piece after Malik left. He told radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O: "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.