Despite all of it, the popstar still grapples with the attention, his image and – believe it or not – his confidence, he revealed to Elle UK.
“My entire life has changed in the last year,” Malik said in the interview. “I'm still taking it all in. I've found so much out about myself. Mostly how in love with music I still was.”
In March 2015 Malik announced that he would be leaving One Direction to pursue a solo career. Though an unwelcomed surprise to the band’s fans, Malik maintained that it was the right decision for him.
“At that time in my life I felt I had done everything I could do there and I just needed to change it up. It didn't feel brave. I just don't have it in me to feel fully secure in anything I do. I always strive towards something better,” he admitted.
He added: “It's why I think sometimes I come across the wrong way, a bit distant. I'm just stressed out trying to control how I'm perceived. I think about things a lot.”
But luckily for him, he has girlfriend Gigi Hadid by his side as he rides the highs and lows of fame and battles his bouts of self-doubt.
“She's super intelligent,” he said of his girlfriend. “I think that's why it works so well. And we do the same type of job so we get that with each other.”