Zayn Malik can thank his girlfriend Gigi Hadid for his collaboration with Taylor Swift. Fans were surprised, yet thrilled, when Malik and Swift debuted their Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack duet I Don't Wanna Live Forever on 9 December.
It is the first time Malik, 23, and Swift, 27, have worked together and the song was immediately a success reaching number one on the iTunes chart within hours. It was previously a mystery how the pop stars had joined forces but Malik now reveals how model Hadid and fun. frontman and producer Jack Antonoff played musical matchmakers.
In an interview with radio personality Elvis Duran on 13 December, the Pillowtalk singer said: "The interesting thing was she's actually friends with Gi [Hadid] so [Swift] already reached out because Jack [Antonoff] had just played her the song anyway.
"She mentioned to me that she liked the song so I already kind of knew in the back of my head that she liked it so I asked her if she wanted to be on it and she was cool with it."
Some of the ballad's lyrics include: "Baby, baby, I feel crazy/Up all night, all night and every day/Give me something, oh, but you say nothing/What is happening tonight?" and "I don't wanna live forever/'Cause I know I'll be living in pain."
The soundtrack for Fifty Shades Darker, sequel to Fifty Shades Of Grey starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, is set for release on 10 February.
I Don't Wanna Live Forever is Malik's first new song since the release of his debut solo album Mind Of Mine in March. While his career since leaving One Direction in 2015 has proved to be a success, Malik has battled with anxiety which has at times forced him to cancel scheduled concerts. Explaining how he has found solace in songwriting, the singer told Duran: "It normally comes to me in lyrics, and I'll develop a melody afterwards.
Listen to a snippet of Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik's I Don't Wanna Live Forever:
"There is not one writer in particular (that I'm influenced by), but I am into a lot of older music. A lot of my dad's old 90s r'n'b. I feel like writing anything down is a little bit of a therapy process. It's alleviating what's on your mind."
Malik quit boy band 1D in March 2015 to take some time out of the spotlight before launching a solo career. Despite having the support of his former bandmates Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan, Malik is enjoying going it alone. The BeFour singer admitted: "I'm enjoying what I'm doing at the minute,there were times when I was in the band that I needed time away to get my thoughts. I feel myself growing every day as a person, growing older and wiser."