Since parting ways with One Direction less than a year ago, Zayn Malik has dropped several hints about what to expect from his newly-minted solo career. He spoke about adopting a more R&B-influenced sound. He pursued an edgier aesthetic. He craved authenticity and creative control. And damn it, he wanted to sing about sex.
Well, turns out he really wasn’t kidding about that last bit. Despite the forewarning that this was going to be a “dirty and raw” debut, Zayn’s first solo single, “Pillowtalk,” eclipses all expectations for just how libidinous his music could be. The loud, sexy track has F-bombs and heavy beats galore, but Zayn’s vocals stand front and center, shining on one hell of a towering chorus.