Zayn Malik is "surprised" his solo career has taken off.

The 23-year-old singer shocked fans when he left One Direction last March but despite his international fame, he admits he was initially amazed at how successful he is.

Speaking to Beats 1 radio, he said: "It was really surprising to me. I kind of didn't set out with the intention to be as successful as it was. When it did well I was surprising myself. With each thing I'm putting out I feel more confident and it gives me new ideas. I just take everything one step at a time."

Meanwhile, the Pillowtalk hitmaker previously revealed he "always wanted" to leave One Direction.


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He explained: "I just gave it a go because it was there at the time. I think I kinda always wanted to go. From the first year, I never really wanted to be there in the band. When I realised the direction that we were going in, mind the pun, with the music, I instantly realised it wasn't for me. How do you write a song from five people's perspective?

"I think the boys knew that in terms of the music, that wasn't my cup of tea. When I was leaving the band, they didn't want me to leave. But I'd already made up my mind at that point."

- Bang! Showbiz