Zayn Malik admits he and his One Direction bandmates were dealing with "underlying issues" and ultimately "got sick of each other".
The 30-year-old singer has opened up in his first interview in six years about quitting the biggest boy band in the world - which was also comprised of Louis Tomlinson, 31, and Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne, all 29 - to lead a normal life in 2015, and alleged there was lots of "politics going on" that led to the 'History' group's demise months later.
On an episode of the 'Call Her Daddy' podcast, he said: “I think we just got thrown into the deep end and we kind of just have to swim, and I feel like we did a good job in terms of like, you know, the keeping it together and making the music that we were meant to make.”
Remaining cryptic, he continued: “There was a lot of ... look I don't want to go into too much detail, but there was a lot of politics going on, so people were doing certain things, so people didn't want to sign contracts, so I knew something was happening."
The 'Pillowtalk' singer insists that living in each other's pockets "every day for five years" didn't help.
He went on: “And then there was obviously underlying issues, like within our friendships too. We've been together every day for five years and we've got sick of each other for being completely honest. So we were close.”
However, Zayn - who is making his solo music comeback this summer - insists he'll never forget his time in 1D.
He reflected: “You know, we’ve done crazy things with each other and that nobody else in the world will ever understand or have them. Experiences that we've shared.”
In a preview clip of his interview, Zayn claimed he was forced into being the "mysterious" bandmember.
He spilled: “I feel like we were so overexposed in the band that like that is why I have taken the time away to not do interviews.
“They just said to me, ‘Oh, you can be the mysterious one,’ but it wasn’t necessarily my personality – I’m just chill. Some people have very high-energy personalities and it’s just not the way I am.”
After some time away from the spotlight, Zayn - who has a two-year-old daughter Khai with supermodel ex Gigi Hadid - says his fanbase continues to embrace him.
He said: “That's one thing I can say, my fanbase has always been supportive. They're always like 'We're here, we got you. Like when you're ready, we've got you, we'll come and listen to your tunes.' I'm super grateful and I feel the love for sure. I’m ready to prove these people right.”