Zayn Malik (now widely known as ZAYN) left his best friends of famous boy band One Direction on March 25, 2015. Exactly one year later, Malik released his debut solo album Mind of Mine.
If you were a fan of One Direction Zayn, then you would know that he was known as the more R&B-influenced voice of the group. With Mind of Mine, Malik truly comes into his own. Beginning with the intro, one can tell he has put a lot of thought and time into the theme of the project. With classic to eccentric R&B/pop production, Mind of Mine finds its voice within Malik and his smooth vocals that floats along each passing track.
With only one feature from R&B singer Kehlani, Malik made this executive decision for a reason; he wanted to show the world that he’s truly capable of being his own entity, without the One Direction fan base to follow. Not only does Mind of Mine feature his familiar falsetto, it also features a Eastern twist on for our Western ears. “INTERMISSION: fLoWer” is welcomed by Malik’s obvious training in Hindustani classical music, with his use of ragas (a pattern of notes having characteristic intervals, rhythms, and embellishments, used as a basis for improvisation) and Hindi through the course of the 2-minute track. He strategically chose the halfway mark to unveil the diversity his voice entails, which adds to the spark of this project. As a person of Indian nationality, I appreciate the effort Malik put into the track to make it one to pay close attention to.
According to sources, Malik recorded around 47 songs for the album, with early plans to release 17 or 18 of them. Most of the tracks were recorded with frequent Frank Ocean collaborator Malay, whose production work Malik praised:
He’s just an amazing person. From the second I met him, I just knew he was kinda different – he doesn’t really look at music like the way a normal producer does. He looks into every instrument in high detail, and he understands how to break it down.
With all the hard work and thought put into this project, it is definitely worth a listen. Listen to the album below via Spotify or purchase it via iTunes.
By Rupal Mehta