The 22-year-old talked The Sun, saying he's finally "doing what's right."
The "Best Song Ever" singer confirmed that fiancée Perrie Edwards is “very supportive,” and that he’s been working on his own music for some time. He insisted that it had nothing to do with any bad feelings between him and remaining band members Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan.
"My band has been really supportive. They've been cool about it," he told the newspaper. "And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore."
The singer confessed he only continued with One Direction for so long because of his fans. An emotional Malik can be seen in a new video showing him crying during what we now know was his last performance with the band.
"I feel like I've let the fans down, but I can't do this anymore," he told the newspaper. "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not the real me.”
"I did try to do something that I wasn't happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people's happiness," he continued, adding that reality feels a bit overwhelming for him right now. "It is crazy and wild and a bit mad," he said, "But at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life."