Gregory Isaacs inspires Zayn Malik

January 12, 2016
Zayn Malik
Gregory Isaacs

Former member of R&B boy band, One Direction, Zayn Malik, has listed one of reggae's greatest singers as one of his musical influences.

In a story published by Billboard Magazine on it's website on Thursday, Malik listed the late Gregory Isaacs as one of the persons who inspired him musically.

"Malik was born in 1993, the second of four children, the rest girls. His birth name, Zain Javadd Malik, means 'beautiful, generous king' in Arabic. His father, Yaser, is British Pakistani, and raised his son on a diet of Usher, R. Kelly, 2Pac, Biggie and classic reggae acts like Gregory Isaacs," the article read.

In the interview, Malik revealed there was no bad blood between himself and the remaining members of One Direction, but said he had to leave the group because he wanted to do songs that told a story.

"I genuinely enjoyed [the band] and did whatever I could to be myself within that, but it's just not where I sit as a musician," he says. "They want to hear what's real, so why don't we write some stuff that we're actually going through? The other boys' taste was generally indie rock. It's good music, but...That was never cool where I was from."

The singer left the group eight months ago and is working on his first solo album, said to be due in March.

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