Zayn Malik Talks Louis Tomlinson Reconciliation: ’It’s Not the Way it Used to Be’

Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik of One Direction perform onstage during the One Direction" Where We Are" Tour at Rose Bowl on September 11, 2014 in Pasadena, California. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/OneD/Getty Images

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson might have made amends recently, but things between them are not how they used to be. Tomlinson revealed in August that they were “mates again” after getting back in touch with each other, but the “Dusk Till Dawn” singer exclusively told Us Weekly that although they have cleared the air, their friendship is not what it was during their time in One Direction.

“Yeah we spoke about that, we’re in touch, everything is on a civil level,” Malik, 24, revealed in the new issue of Us Weekly. “It’s not the way it used to be, obviously we were a lot closer because we were together the entire time, spending 24 hours a day in the band and now we’re not so we’re living our own lives, we’re all growing as individual men and we still keep in touch and check in with each other not as much as we used to.”

Tomlinson said their reunion was inspired by his late mother, Johannah Deakin, who passed away in December 2016. One of her dying wishes was for her son to make amends with his old friend. "My mum said, 'You've got to get back in contact with Zayn. Life's too f--king short. A mother's intuition is just f--king crazy. It always felt supernatural to me. My mum always knew what I was feeling and what I wanted,” he said in an interview with The Sun on July 20.

The “Pillowtalk” singer — who hosted Us Weekly's Most Stylish New Yorkers party at The Jane Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, September 12 — also revealed that he never quite had a relationship with group member Harry Styles either. 

The Bradford, England, native credited his battle with anxiety as his reason for leaving the group in early 2015. “People now have a better perspective on where I was coming from at the time and just an understanding that it wasn’t coming from necessarily being ungrateful shall we say or not aware of the opportunities that were in front of me,” he told Us. “It was just me struggling with being able to actually be there. I’m definitely glad I got that off my chest.”

The former boy band member told Us that as a solo artist he is more in control, unlike when he was part of the group. “We were basically chucked in the deep end of how the showbiz industry works and how everything’s gonna go. We were basically going at like 500 miles per hour. We did everything to an extreme in the band,” he said. “I’ve already done all the crazy stuff, so this to me is like halfway of that. It’s not as full on, it’s not as extreme, it’s not as in your face, it’s at my own pace. So this way, it feels 100 times more manageable. It’s just easier, it’s a lot less work.”

The “Like I Would” crooner said that since his departure, he has learned to be grateful for everything he experienced in the beginning of his career. “It’s kind of a blur, but I’ve also had a bit of time to process it and take it in and understand it for what it was and appreciate a lot of the things and opportunities that we were given the chance to be able to do at that time. I just look back at it as a positive thing with good memories.”

In regards to a 1D reunion, the singer told Us “never say never.”

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