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Zayn Malik Shares First Live Performance Video Since 2016 as He Drops New Single ‘Alienated’




The One Direction alum’s fourth studio album, ‘Room Under the Stairs,’ arrives on May 17

Zayn Malik didn’t need a stage for his first live performance since 2016 — instead, he’s opting for a rug, stool and his introspective new single “Alienated.”

The 31-year-old One Direction alum, who will be releasing his fourth solo album Room Under the Stairs on May 17, surprised fans on Friday with what marks his first live performance video in nearly eight years as he dropped the album’s newest single.

In the clip, Malik shows off his falsetto with a backing band while debuting the soulful new track, which follows his March release “What I Am.”

Zayn Malik performs new single “Alienated,” in what marked his first live performance clip in nearly eight years. MERCURY RECORDS

As Malik explained in a press release, the song was the first he wrote for the new project, which arrives over three years after 2021’s Nobody Is Listening. The new LP will be co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb.

“So it kind of set the tone for the whole project,” he said. “It shaped the way I wanted to approach the sound of my own voice, the styling of the guitars and the overall sonic direction.”

In the track itself, Malik sings of the feeling of alienation and being “on my spaceship alone,” a nod to the album’s approach of coming from a “place of sheer honesty and vulnerability.”

“I wanted each song to feel as if it was just me sitting beside you telling you how I feel, singing directly to you,” Malik also said. “It’s raw and stripped back and the type of music I always hoped to make.”


“I think just being where I was at that time, staying away from things and living with my own thoughts inspired me to want to write something from that place,” he added. “I’ve got to put this out as a whole body of work, it’s something for myself, not even just for the world.”


While Malik is no stranger to releasing new music for his fans — having also recently hopped on AUR’s “Tu hai kahan” in January — he’s largely kept away from performing live.

His last proper live set took place at Wango Tango in May 2016, months after releasing his debut solo album Mind of Mine, per Setlist FM. He also performed single “Like I Would” on The Voice days later.

Malik described his relationship with live performing during his 2023 appearance on Call Her Daddy, explaining that he was “still nervous” to go back on stage.

“I feel like I have something to give and I want to get on stage and be there again and feel that,” Malik said at the time. “That’s one thing I can say, my fan base has always been supportive in that manner.”

“They’re always just like, we’re here, we’ve got you. Like, when you’re ready we’ve got you,” he added. “We’re gonna come and listen to your tunes. I gotta be super, super thankful for that and I’m super grateful. I feel that love for sure. I’m ready to prove these people right.”

Malik’s Room Under the Stairs arrives on May 17 via Mercury Records.

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