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18 February 2016, 14:40
And would you listen to Zayn if you weren't a 1D fan?
It's been an eventful 24 hours for Zayn, the artist formally known as Zayn Malik.
Our precious prince stopped by the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform a new song, "It's You" and revealed the cover for his album (*scream*) Mind Of Mine.
The performance has divided opinion. Some criticised Zayn for mumbling through his performance, although fans have been as enthusiastic as ever. The album cover also received some negative comments, with many pointing out how similar it was to the artwork for Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III. Copying? Paying homage? Or, worse, complete ignorance?
Personally speaking, we thought "It's You" was a big improvement on "Pillowtalk". But what do we know? "Pillowtalk" still managed to climb to no.1 in 68 countries worldwide!
As for his performance, well, it wasn't his greatest BUT it's his first time out there on his own. It's absolutely to be expected that he would be nervous and that could affect his performance. Not that fans cared much. Tumblr has basically turned into a counselling site for fans dying of the feels.
All of the above has caused a big debate in the PopBuzz office. How much of this success is 1D fans who are just really excited for his comeback? And how much of this is new fans? Zayn can already rely on 1D fans to continue buying his records, but they won't forever. That's why bringing in new fans is essential to his success.
Some of us are old enough to remember Justin Timberlake going solo after N Sync, the last big artist to make the tricky transition from saccharine boyband member to bonafide solo superstar. When Justin came out with Justified, he really shocked everyone with his songs and talent. It wasn't just a vain attempt to be a solo singer, it was abundantly clear that this guy had musical chops, and so people outside of the N Sync fanbase started buying his music.
We wonder if Zayn has got to that point yet. We're not sure he has but it's early days.
Mind of Mine will be released on March 25. We guess we'll find out the answers then.