UPDATE: Zayn’s demo with Naughty Boy, “I Won’t Mind,” was removed from SoundCloud less than 12 hours after it posted. For now, you can listen to it on a YouTube rip at the bottom of this page.
Well that was fast: less than a week after Zayn Malik officially left One Direction, the 22-year-old has had his first piece of solo material unveiled to the world. Naughty Boy, the U.K. producer who joined Malik in the studio over the weekend, has posted a demo called “I Won’t Mind” online on Monday (Mar. 30).
Unlike Naughty Boy’s worldwide smash “La La La,” “I Won’t Mind” is a heartfelt, elliptical folk song in which Malik croons over an acoustic guitar, “We are who we are when no one’s watching/And right from the start, you know I got you.” The song sounds incomplete, but Malik’s vulnerability sounds real and well-earned; “I Won’t Mind” doesn’t necessarily need elaborate production to be affecting.
“Let the music do the talking guys. thank us later. 🙂 x,” Naughty Boy posted on Twitter with the song. He added in the Soundcloud description, “There is nothing but love for what was left behind. thats why we don’t mind. 😉 #2016 #zaughty #zindabad.”
Last week, One Direction announced plans to continue as a quartet without Malik, with a world tour continuing as planned and a new album due out later this year. That #2016 hashtag hints at the big plans Malik and Naughty Boy apparently have for next year.
Earlier on Monday, Naughty Boygot into a Twitter argument with 1D’s Louis Tomlinson, who felt that the producer was bragging online about working with Malik:
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) March 30, 2015
Naughty Boy tried to explain himself to Tomlinson, but the Directioners have turned against the U.K. artist — #SuspendNaughtyBoy began trending worldwide on Monday night.