Zayn Malik Cites Tupac & Kanye As Major Influences

In a recent interview, Zayn Malik has opened up about his time in boy band One Direction as well as taking the opportunity to reflect on artists who have inspired him.

With the release of his debut solo album, Mind Of Mine, only days away, Zayn sat down with Complex to talk about his transition form boy band member to breakout star.

Although his time in the boy band was an undoubtedly incredible experience, the young artist appeared grateful for that chapter of his life now being behind him. In particular, he is looking forward to being able to express himself freely – “now I get to talk about what I’m passionate about- it’s nice to have the chance to speak”.

One thing he chose to spoke about, interestingly, was his love for hip-hop. Malik cited 2Pac’All Eyez On Me as a strong influence on his artistic evolution.

Image: wikipedia

Image: wikipedia

”The songs are so real, and from a perspective of a place where somebody is not afraid to be completely 100 percent honest. He’s the first rapper to talk about the fact that his mom was a crack addict. For me, that’s courageous as fuck.”

“He took that risk and spoke about everything in detail openly and without any shame. For me to listen to that album as I grew up, it really helped me to understand that it’s OK to be honest with your art, because people appreciate that.”

He went on to talk about Kanye West, saying, “I believe that success follows authenticity. People see through fake shit. They don’t want to see that; they want a real person. That’s why Kanye is so successful. He’s speaking the truth, regardless of whomever he offends, he isn’t bothered. That’s admirable.”


Zayn Malik will drop his solo album Mind Of Mine, on March 25.

Image: Digital Spy