Dear Gossips,

Zayn’s album comes out this week, on Friday. It’s been a year since he left One Direction. In that year, a lot of people wrote him off. I think I wrote him off? But now here he is, surprising everyone with a #1 single and covering Complex Magazine. The interview took place in February, after Pillowtalk was released, so he has the luxury at this point not to be negative about the past – at least it doesn’t read that way to me. Not even when he’s discussing all the sh-t he wasn’t allowed to do when he was a member of the band, like grow a beard or dye his hair. You get the sense that had you asked him about that 9 months ago, there would be a lot more resentment behind the words. Does success breed magnanimity?

The success, of course, all comes back to the music. And Zayn’s solo sound is Music To F-ck To. Which Complex asks him about: Do you want people to have sex to your album?

How many people have had sex to Pillowtalk? At least a few of you. Us. But you can only do that if you believe the person singing the Music To F-ck To knows what the f-ck s/he’s talking about, right? I wouldn’t believe it from Liam Payne, Niall Horan, or Louis Tomlinson, even though, sure, they all three know the basics of how to f-ck. Because I’m not sure they know the nuances of how to f-ck. And I’m not convinced of it from Harry Styles either. But Zayn? Zayn has convinced a lot of people that, somehow, in exiting One Direction, he’s got that magic.

This is the magic Justin Bieber might be looking to acquire on the next album, after he’s done apologising. JB came back with a dance groove. He graduated from boy with a crush to the voice you dance to at the club. That’s not quite Music To F-ck To. And fun as his music is right now, he hasn’t totally succeeded yet in proving that he’s got the right thrust – but he’s been trying.

Click here to read the Zayn interview in Complex and to see more photos and video.

Yours in gossip,