Will solo Zayn Malik be more of a Timberlake or a Jonas?

Former member of British boy band One Direction, Zayn Malik arrives for the Asian awards in central London on April 17, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: 466 ORIG FILE ID: 539823385

We may not be hearing much from Zayn Malik for a while.

The former One Directioner is apparently banned from releasing any solo music for the next two years, even though his new producer totally leaked a demo in March. We guess that’s why Zayn and U.K. Rapper Mic Righteous got a stern talking to for their cover of ‘No Type’ by Rae Sremmurd last month, which has since been removed from SoundCloud and Youtube.

While the extent of his new musical journey has been kept under wraps, producer Naughty Boy says Zayn is taking a more “soulful” approach to his new sound. We’re not too sure what that means, but we’ll go along with it for now.

It sounds like a rocky solo start, although we have to admit, going solo isn’t such an easy feat. Some make it big, some coast and some go solo without you even realizing it. What type of solo artist will Zayn be?

Star-studded solo:.

Justin Timberlake.

The pop sensation first stole hearts as a member of NSYNC starting in 1995 – that means he’s been on our playlists for the last 20 years! He said Bye Bye Bye to the group to go solo in 2002, releasing his first album Justified. Since then, in just two more albums, he’s managing to command the pop scene with a number of smash hits.

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Queen B started in 1990 as a member of Destiny’s Child (yeah, remember that?) And was one of the only members to stick with the group until its final break-up in 2009. But she did smartly start her solo career before the group’s end, releasing Dangerously in Love in 2003. Since then, she’s released five solo albums, plus EPs, singles, live albums, soundtracks, performed in the Super Bowl…You get the idea. #BowDown.

Michael Jackson.

We went way back for this one, but music legend Michael Jackson did get his start as a lead singer of The Jackson 5 in 1964. The pop icon eventually left the group to pursue a wildly successful solo career that would warrant him 10 albums by 2001, along with numerous music videos, hit singles and awards. You know the rest: MJ became a staple in music history.

Just coasting along:.

Gwen Stefani.

There’s No Doubt we loved Gwen Stefani before she decided to ride solo in 2004 with her first album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. She went on to release one more album in 2006, The Sweet Escape (yes we are still wee- ooo-ing with her and Akon to this day). But unfortunately, her solo career wasn’t as Hella Good as we thought it would be — and aside from The Voice, we haven’t heard nearly enough from her since then.


Fergie hasn’t technically separated from The Black Eyes Peas, but she’s gone on to pursue a medium-grade successful solo career on the side. Her only solo album, The Dutchess, came out in 2006 and was a worldwide hit (this left us hoping for more). She’s since released a bunch of catchy singles, like A Little Party Never Killed Nobody and L.A. Love, and we’re wait patiently for her next album. (Its coming soon, right?).

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Nick Jonas.

Nick Jonas knows exactly how Zayn feels after separating from his brothers in 2012 following their eight years of teen-pop, girls-crying-when-they-met-them success. Nick took a break from the studio, but resurfaced last November, releasing his self-titled album. His new image seems to be a fan-favorite so far, with his latest song Jealous still taking the charts by storm. Fun fact: Even before the Jonas Brothers were a thing, Nick released his very first album Nicholas Jonas at just 13-years-old. Precious!

You went solo?:.

Nick Carter.

It certainly wasn’t hard to fall for Nick Carter’s charm as a member of the Backstreet Boys. But then Nick released his first solo album in 2002 with Now or Never — and lost out majorly to a certain Timberlake. He made another move with more original material in 2011 with I’m Taking Off, and in 2014 with Nick and Knight. Unfortunately, like the last four Backstreet Boys albums, no one’s really listened to them.


Will.I.Am is a producing genius, taking The Black Eyed Peas straight to the top of the charts, but why can’t the rapper seem to do the same for his solo career? Like his Black Eyed Peas pal Fergie, will.I.Am has released several albums on the side, starting with his first album Lost Change in 2001. His latest album #willpower from 2013 was a flop, but the star has seen major success (read: cash money) in collaborations with other artists (.

Anyone from the Spice Girls….

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It’s hard to imagine these 90’s pop princesses singing with anyone besides each other, but Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Mel B, Mel C and Victoria Beckham all have at least one solo album to their name. Here’s the kicker: The group took a hiatus in 2000 to focus on their solo careers. Unfortunately, the solo Wannabes didn’t really work out.

So what direction will Zayn Malik’s solo career go in? Check back with us in 2 years.

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