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Liam Payne Believes Zayn’s Forced ‘X-Factor’ Audition Foreshadowed His One Direction Departure

Liam Payne revealed recently that One Direction’s members have been talking a lot more lately as their tenth anniversary approaches. He neither confirmed nor denied a reunion, but if one happens, a big question is whether or not Zayn Malik, who left the group in 2015 and has stayed largely out of the public eye since then, would want to participate. Payne spoke about that in a recent interview, saying that fans shouldn’t assume Zayn would be on board.

Payne explained that Zayn much prefers making music to promoting it out in the world, saying, “Some people are made for this thing, but Zayn enjoys the side of the music where he just gets to make music. I don’t think he enjoys what comes with it. I think he has to be very careful where he treads. He likes to make songs and his songs do very well, but at the same time, he doesn’t really like to go out and perform the songs. He doesn’t really like going out and doing the press stuff that surrounds it in the crazy little world that we live in.”

He also revealed that Zayn’s mother actually made him audition for The X-Factor, the show that spawned One Direction. He believes this foreshadowed Zayn’s discontent with and eventual departure from the group:

“We always kind of knew that there were moments when One Direction was really Zayn and then there were moments when it really wasn’t. You have to imagine when you go into these talent shows you often are a teenager. The only thing you are in the show for is to impress someone around you. You actually don’t really know what you want from life.

I started at 14 and when I was that age I hadn’t got a bloody clue what I wanted to do. My parents found it exciting and they thought I was good so I thought I would try it out — but you don’t know what you want. I remember Zayn telling us the story that it was his mum [who] got him to go to the audition the day he didn’t want to go, and that was literally what we saw all the way through One Direction.”

Read the full interview here.