The former One Direction bandmate, who backed out of the group during their world tour one year ago Friday, debuted the R&B-inspired Mind of Mine on the same day. It quickly became the number one album in over 70 countries.
The record includes a track titled “Intermission: Flower,” sang entirely in Malik’s father’s native language, Urdu. The soft, dreamlike song is reportedly inspired by his dad’s Pakistani culture.
“His relationship with his dad and his whole family is super important — especially his dad,” the singer’s producer Malay Ho told Entertainment Weekly. “I was just blown away. I didn’t know he could sing like that.”
“Afterward, he told me he was in a super spiritual place, and that the saying is something one of his family members had told him that had always stuck to him,” Ho added.
He added he is not looking to be a spokesperson for any one group of people. “I would never be trying to influence anything or try to stamp myself as a religious statement or portrayal of anything. I am me,” he said. “I’m just doing me.”