Let me start off by saying how much of a fan I am of Zayn Malik and Zhavia Ward.

Zayn is my favourite One Directioner and is the only one from the group whose music I actually like - based on the fact I have more than one of his songs in my music library.
Often referred to by former bandmate Louis Tomlinson as the voice of the band, Zayn's lower register is the weakest of his range but his falsetto is stand out - just YouTube search Zayn Malik and high notes and you'll come across plenty of examples with his One Direction bandmates watching in awe.

As for Zhavia, I watched reality television singing competition The Four religiously and fell in love with her musical style and voice. Zhavia, whose lower register is hard to beat, was confident and I was always excited to see how she would make whatever song she was covering that week her own. She was only 16 on the show. She didn't win but she was by far the stand out on the show ... which is why she was given a record deal pretty quickly.

When I found out the pair were the new voices of the famous Aladdin theme song A Whole New World, originally sung by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle I was taken aback.


The remake of the Disney classic hit cinemas in New Zealand this week so it's fair enough that a remake of the theme song be released too. But, the original is magical.

Bryson's lower register is untouchable and Regina's range overall draws you in without fail. With Zayn's falsetto being stronger than Zhavia's and her lower register stronger than his, I thought they'd perhaps switch around the roles of the track to change things up rather than compete, if you like, with the original.

That's not what has happened in the 2019 version and instead, as much as I appreciate both current musicians separately, together I was slightly confused. It ends stronger than it starts but I could probably happily live without the first minute of the song.

It may well be that I just love the original too much to accept anyone else singing that song (because the 2000s kids love the new version and the more I listen to it the more I enjoy it after that first minutes), but I absolutely believe Zayn and Zhavia would have killed it had they done a song role reversal - and I would absolutely love to hear that version.

One thing is for sure though, I'll be heading to the cinemas this week to watch the new Aladdin!

Singer/songwriter Zhavia Ward. Photo / Getty Images
Singer/songwriter Zhavia Ward. Photo / Getty Images