Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid
Zayn Malik describes his model girlfriend Gigi Hadid as 'super intelligent'Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com

Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid are still going strong despite recent split rumours. The former One Direction singer has nothing but praise for his girlfriend in a new interview with Elle magazine, describing the model as "super intelligent".

The couple's romance began in November 2015 and has been a whirlwind ever since – with Hadid, 21, appearing in Malik's Pillowtalk music video and the pair taking part in a photo shoot for US Vogue. Opening up on their relationship, Malik told Elle: "She's super intelligent, I think that's why it works so well. And we do the same type of job so we get that with each other."

The Like I Would singer also shared his admiration for women, in particular his mother Tricia and three sisters whom he regularly visits back home in Bradford, England.

Malik explained: "I enjoyed the womanly influence. I have a lot of respect for women because of them. They are so strong, powerful and do everything themselves... When I go back to Bradford they treat me exactly the same. It's why I only ever go back for a few days, otherwise they have me taking out the bins."

In March 2015, Malik, 23, announced he was quitting boy band One Direction with hopes of pursuing a solo music career. A year later, the pop star released his debut album Mind Of Mine and enjoyed chart success with the album reaching number one around the world.

However, performing without his former bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, has meant Malik has to deal with his anxiety alone. Thousands of fans were devastated when Malik cancelled his performance at Capital FM's Summertime Ball in June 2016 due to crippling nerves.

Detailing his battle with nerves, Malik revealed: "I just don't have it in me to feel fully secure in anything I do. I always strive towards something better. It's why I sometimes come across the wrong way – a bit distant. I'm stressed out trying to control how I'm perceived. I think about things a lot."

Still, Malik is determined to fulfill his career aspirations and share his hopes of venturing into film in the future, perhaps following in the footsteps of his former bandmate Styles. The singer said: "I started acting when I was in school with theatre studies and then music came afterwards. The acting completely stopped because I joined the band, but I'd definitely be interested if I was given the right part."

Watch Zayn Malik's Pillowtalk music video: