But Zayn’s sentimental mood hasn’t always been the case. Since he left One Direction to pursue a solo career in March 2015, a few months before the remaining members — Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne — announced that they would be going on hiatus, the “Let Me” singer has navigated a roller coaster of feelings toward his boy band era.
His wavering feelings about 1D are understandable, as Zayn was just 17 years old when he was thrust into superstardom overnight with four other boys he had never met before X-Factor. Over the years, the star has made comments in interviews and on social media about his former bandmates, the type of music One Direction made, the lack of authenticity in the songs, fame and how the pressure of it all impacted his mental health.
We’ve compiled every time Zayn has referenced One Direction, including the good, the bad, the sweet and the snide. See our timeline below.