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Icarus Falls
ZAYN
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May 31, 2019

Zayn Malik attempts to reinforce his place in modern R&B

Zain Javadd Malik aka ZAYN, released his second solo studio album, Icarus Falls on the 14th of December 2018. After the success of his first studio album, Mind of Mine, there were very high expectations for his Sophomore album. When Zayn left the multiplatinum selling English-Irish pop boy band, One Direction, a lot of hearts were broken and people wondered what this will mean for Zayn’s career. The band comprised of Zayn alongside Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Nial Horan who were brought together in 2010 by the judges on the British Singing competition, The X Factor. From 2010-2015 they experienced resounding success winning twenty-eight teens choice awards, seven BRIT awards & American Music Awards and four VMAs. Zayn claims that his decision to leave the group came as a result of him being in a dark place. He was dealing with crippling anxiety and his private life seemed to be falling apart, he needed a break from the spotlight. He also seemed to have outgrown the band and wanted to go solo. According to the daily mail, Zayn referred to their songs as “generic as fuck songs”, he also wanted the opportunity to be more creative. On Mind of Mine it was clear he left the generic pop sound for modern R&B. After recording and performing with four other boys throughout his career up until 2015, many doubted Zayn will be successful on his own. Despite having an incredible vocal range and texture, his team member Harry Styles was the lead singer and the star of the band. To the surprise of many his decision proved to be very profitable for him. His first single off his debut album, Pillowtalk, made him the first Male UK artists to debut at number 1 on the Billboard HOT 100. Mind of Mine debuted at number 1 in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, he became the first British Male solo artist to do achieve that. Icarus Falls is named after a character in Greek mythology who went against his father's warnings and flew too close to the sun causing him to fall to this death. This could represent his journey so far. He was “flying high” during his One Direction era, he decided to break out of the restraint the group to go even “higher” but that led him down a rocky path. He faced extreme anxiety around performing solo and this caused him to cancel several performances and prevented him from going on tour. Icarus Falls is a double album, on the overwhelming 27-song track list, Zayn was able to show his growth as a solo artist. Though in an interview with British Vogue, Zayn said some of the tracks were meant to be on his debut album.

Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension

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