The rise of Zayn Malik from a teenager trying out in The X Factor to one of the greatest pop sensations in the world as part of the record-breaking boy band One Direction was a fairytale story of success and fame. Even after leaving the band in 2015, he is having an incredible solo music career, creating headlines on the covers of fashion magazines and winning fans with his unique style as always.

Malik’s life is quite glamorous now, yet he has often thought of an alternative life that could have otherwise been too different from the present one, but one with the prospects of creative satisfaction and mental challenge.

Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik in One Direction Where We Are Tour | Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Ianthebush

As a boy, Malik developed a love for not only music but also literature and theater. It was something that almost steered his life in a completely different direction.

Zayn Malik Wanted to Be an English Teacher Before One Direction

Zayn Malik performing Alienated
Zayn Malik performing Alienated | via Zayn Malik YouTube

During a number of interviews, Zayn Malik has spoken very openly about his childhood ambitions to become an English teacher. According to him, it would have been a profession that would have let him embrace his passion for poetry, literature, and art.

In an earlier interview with VMAN, the Pillowtalk singer said,

‘I think about (what I’d do away from music) quite a lot. I think about alternative realities. I think I’d be at university and I would have done my English degree. I think I’d be looking for some employment to do with English lecturing or literature.”

‘I love poetry and writing—obviously, I’m a songwriter—so, it would’ve been something that would still give me the feeling of a creative outlet within my writing.’

In a recent interview on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, Malik talked about how he was in school during childhood and how his life would have turned out if he were not a singer.

Also read: 9 Years After Leaving One Direction, Zayn Malik has Finally Realized the Error in his Ways as He Shares His Biggest Regret From the Band Days

He confessed that his life wouldn’t have been as much as exciting as it is at present. Malik said,

“I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to teach English. liked English in school. I did my English GCSE a year early. They put me in for it at 15. I think it’s meant to do at 16, and I passed I got an A and stuff like that. I did really well always enjoyed poetry.”

Malik believed it would be appropriate if he did something as a profession that was rewarding and also something he liked to do. However, he later got obsessed with music and changed his mind.

“I was also studying theater too so I was like, I’d love to, you know, possibly do some acting, but I never really followed that through either. Just when I got into the music, I just fell so in love with music that I just concentrated on furthering my ability in that field because it’s your job right, so I was like, ‘Maybe I should be good at this if this is what we’re going to do’.”

However, as much as he loved English and teaching, Malik would not have been half as wealthy as he is now. According to South China Morning Post, Zayn Malik’s net worth is about $75 million as of 2024, which he has made through his music, record deals, brand, and endorsements. However, Malik wants to be an example for his child.

Zayn Malik Wants to Inspire Khai by Prioritizing Education

Zayn Malik on Fearne Cotton's Happy Place
Zayn Malik on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place | via Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place YouTube

Undoubtedly, Malik’s music career has also brought him to unimaginable heights of success and wealth. At the same time, with the birth of his daughter, Khai, his responsibility to be an example has increased, which he has always aspired to do.

Also read: “We were pretty good”: Fans Demand a Once in a Lifetime Collaboration for One Direction as Zayn Malik Says What’s on Every Fan’s Mind

Malik earlier told The Sunday Times in an interview that he will give priority to education for his future kids. He said,

“And when my kids ask me in the future, and I try to tell them to go to school, they can’t turn around and say to me, ‘Fuck off, Dad, you were in a band!’ I can turn around and say, ‘Excuse me, I went back to school and got my degree. So you definitely have to do your schoolwork!”

He also talked about education being much more accessible these days. He said,

“You know what, to educate yourself isn’t that hard these days. You can do it at home. You can go to lectures – just sit there, which hopefully,  at some point, I can do – like, just sit and listen to a lecture.”

Malik became a father when his daughter was born on September 19, 2020, and he acknowledges that fatherhood has changed him as a person. He feels more patient and observes a change in the way he writes his songs. As he shares 50 percent of custody of his daughter with Gigi Hadid following their divorce, he gives his full attention to whatever time he can spend with his kid.

Also read: Selena Gomez Stuns Fans After Sneak Attack on Rumored Boyfriend Zayn Malik, Doesn’t Spare Dua Lipa and Gigi Hadid Either

As Zayn Malik continues to climb the ladder of success with his music and celebrity life, his giving importance to basic things like education and self-improvement reveals a deeper side of him that wants contentment in his life.

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