Zayn Malik, once the best singer in UK boy band institution One Direction, left that group about a year ago, and there has been lots of speculation on what’s going to happen when he goes solo. Malik is going to try very, very hard to Timberlake on us, and he seems pretty well-positioned to make that transition. But we hadn’t heard any of his solo music until this morning, when he dropped the video for “Pillowtalk,” his debut solo single. It’s a sleek, immaculately constructed piece of moody, post-Weeknd R&B, which is pretty much what you’d expect from this guy. On first listen, it’s not bad, but it’s also not an undeniable “What Do You Mean”-level banger. In the video, he makes out with model Gigi Hadid, and director Bouha Kazmi throws in a lot of flower-blooming imagery that seems designed to suggest that this guy is having a lot of sex now. Check out the video below.
“Pillowtalk” is out now at iTunes. Feel free to discuss in the comments whether it was an unforgivable sin to post this video like it was a new Parquet Courts joint or whatever.