One Direction member headed in new direction

Ashley Winward

This week 1D fans around the world cried out when news struck that member Zayn Malik had quit One Direction after five years.

Zayn leaves One Direction (AP photo)
Zayn leaves One Direction (AP photo)

Recently, several media outlets had reported that Malik left their current tour prematurely due to stress, leaving in the middle of a run through Africa and Asia. The band still has a European and North American leg that takes them through the fall.

While I cannot speak as a fan of the band, this news brings to light an issue that’s been plaguing musicians for years; the balance between celebrity and normalcy. In Malik’s statement to fans he wrote, “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

When we put artists up on this pedestal of fame, it can be easy for fans to forget that these people are also human. With how fast these guys went from X Factor contestants to worldwide phenomena, it’s been practically a five year push to continue putting out hits with no let up. No matter how much you enjoy the experience, there’s no denying that this is a very stressful situation for the body and mind.

It was only a matter of time before someone was to finally break down.

While some fans have been understanding of this fact, others have been acting as if the man has died, posting pictures on social media of candlelight vigils and getting the twitter hashtag #foreverinourheartszayn trending worldwide. While this part of his life’s journey has ended, there is still so much left for Malik to do, just out of the millions of public eyes.

Personally, I don’t blame him for this decision; there is only so much one person can handle and it’s okay to take a step back and reevaluate another musical path.

I will say that the whole situation could have been handled better. To leave midway through a tour can be frustrating to both the band and artist. With tickets already sold expecting a certain lineup, there will always be complaints in this sort of situation. Will fans still go? Probably. Will there be an uproar when the remaining four members approach the stage? Only the good kind.

No matter what bad happens there will still be fans flocking for a chance to see “The First Tour Without Zayn 2015” because they’ll be witnessing history. Good or bad, there’s something powerful about being a part of a historic moment of your favorite band’s history.

For all my fangirls, I completely understand your pain. While I may not be a 1D fan, I’ve experienced my fair share of band breakups before. It’s just important to remember that Malik is a human being with personal needs as well. As fans, we must accept this and support the artists we care about in whatever future endeavors they may partake in. If that means letting him live a quiet life, then we just have to remember that they’re happy.

Who knows? This might not be the last we see him; he has gone on record to say that he would love to try the production side of the industry. While the fate of the UK crew may be off in different directions, it will be the music that keeps them together in our memories.