We’ve been eagerly waiting on Zayn Malik to speak on a great many topics ever since this week’s Call Her Daddy teaser dropped, and now here we are…
Of course, on Tuesday afternoon, we got a (very brief) look at the former One Direction singer’s new chat with podcast host Alex Cooper. But now the full episode is out, and it does not disappoint. Yeah — she went there.
In the full interview, which was released on Wednesday, Zayn talks about baby momma Gigi Hadid, her momma Yolanda Hadid, and that whole alleged assault between them… as well as his music career and much more.
And we’re diving in! Here are all the highlights…
Cool With Co-Parenting
One big question we’re sure a lot of fans have: how do Zayn and Gigi handle co-parenting after breaking up??
Call him Daddy because the 30-year-old crooner opened up to Alex about it. He revealed how 2-year-old daughter Khai is receiving lots of love from both mom and dad, explaining:
“Co-parenting is good. We have a really good relationship for Khai. She’s the, you know, the main importance.”
Prioritizing their child, whom they both love above all else. Perfect.
Zayn did confirm a bit of legal detail on the co-parenting front, too. The ex-boy bander revealed he and the 28-year-old supermodel have a perfectly 50/50 joint custody agreement, split right down the middle. They each share Khai for equal days right now. We imagine that’s a bit easier at this age, before she has school — and while the parents’ schedules are pretty flexible.
Speaking of work schedules, Zayn chooses to spend those moments with his little girl not working, in order to soak up all their time together:
“I have her 50 percent of the time, so that time I have with her is so important because I feel like she’s growing up so fat. So when I’m with her, I don’t work at all. I just spend a full day with her doing the things like painting, Play-doh, this, that. Go to the park, go to the theme park, go to the zoo. We just have fun.”
“I’m super full-on hands-on with my child every chance I can be. If I could get 60 percent [custody], I would have it.”
Oof, don’t let Gigi’s lawyers hear you say that, they’ll take it as an act of aggression!
We’re glad Zayn mentioned that custody arrangement and his 60 percent desire, because it all led back to the alleged altercation he had back in 2021 with Yolanda, the source of all the division with Gigi and her fam.
Yep, here’s the big one…
As Perezcious readers will recall, court docs filed that year accused the boy bander of shoving Yolanda amid a “verbal altercation.” At the time, Zayn released a statement in which he confirmed the argument but “adamantly” denied striking Gigi’s momma. He also declined to give further details in that statement “for the sake of my daughter.”
Later, he pled no contest to four counts of harassment on the matter — notably not assault or battery. He was placed on a year-long probation and completed an anger management program and a domestic violence course. And now, two years after all that, Zayn is finally opening up about it with Cooper — well, sort of.
During the Call Her Daddy convo, the singer still didn’t wade down into the specifics of what happened back in 2021. Probably legal hurdles — not to mention protecting his daughter from reading nasty deets in the future. But he did slam some of the online assumptions about it:
“I don’t tend to get involved when people say things online, whether it’s got something to do with me or whether it doesn’t. Because for me, my most valuable thing that I have in life is time, and that takes so much time. In a toxic environment to, like, explain yourself to people and justify this. And so I just kind of keep to myself.”
He then said as much as he was willing to say about the Yolanda fight:
“I knew what the situation was, I knew what happened and the people involved knew what happened, too. And that’s all I really cared about. If anybody, you know, of a sane mind would look at the situation, I believe that you could respect that.”
He knows what happened, and Yolanda knows what happened… but they were saying very different things! Hmm…
On Keeping So Private
Related to the 2021 controversy with Yolanda, Zayn also spoke frankly on Wednesday about his desire to play things close to the vest. Like, really close to the vest.
When queried why he didn’t speak out sooner about the Yolanda incident or anything else regarding his split from Gigi after Khai’s birth, Zayn explained:
“I just didn’t want to bring attention to anything, you know? I just wasn’t trying to get into a negative back and forth with her. Any sort of narrative online where my daughter was going to look back and read that and be able to read into it and it would just be something that was — there was no point. I believe I dealt with it in the best way, in like an amicable, respectful way and that’s all that needs to be said. I feel like it’s a lot of negativity.”
Understandable, we suppose.
He also reiterated his broader desire to keep “family issues” out of the press:
“If something happens in the family, like I’d rather keep that between the family, you know. You don’t need a whole audience of people and opinions, because it’s hard enough to manage between two.”
Especially if the two have such warring points of view, right?
Music Biz Woes
Of course, Zayn has been far from the spotlight for a while now. This Call Her Daddy interview is his first public press move in six years, after all. And a large part of that departure centered not only on the Hadid fam, but also on his experience in 1D alongside Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan.
Just as he was shown briefly teasing out in Tuesday’s aforementioned preview clip, Malik explained some of his gripes with the music biz and its promotional powers during this week’s chat:
“I feel like we were so overexposed in the band, and that’s why I took the time that I have to not even necessarily do interviews. … They just said, ‘oh yeah, you can be the mysterious one.’ That wasn’t necessarily my personality, I’m just chill. I know that a lot of people have high-energy personalities, and it’s just not the way I am.”
And yet nevertheless, he went on with a hopeful refrain about setting a good example for Khai with his new PR push for his solo music:
“Since I’ve had my daughter, the main thing in my mind is trying to be a good example for her. That’s why I’m even doing this interview. I used to get a lot of anxiety around having a conversation like this, and I want her to look at me and be like, ‘Yo, my dad’s doing this.'”
Fun With Fatherhood!
In a happier portion of the interview, the crooner gushed about how being a dad has made him happy. He also says having a little one about has given him a new childlike perspective on the world:
“I feel like I’ve rekindled my own childhood through her. I feel like we get to a certain point in adult life where everything is kind of vague and gray and boring, and she’s brought that color back for me, for sure.”
What a great way to put it! He also teased anyone thinking about the next generation of 1D by saying Khai is already proving to be a surprisingly good singer at her age! Zayn claims she can “hit these high notes, like falsetto,” and she already “remembers full lyrics to songs as well.” Wow!
The singer continued:
“She shows a lot of signs of, like, musical intelligence already. I just love, like, playing instruments with her and singing with her. Like, I’ll sing and she sings along and she can do, like, good harmonies and stuff already and she’s only two and a half, and she harmonizes with me and, like, finishes notes. She can hold them a long time.”
BTW, he says their favorite tune to cover together is the Disney hit You’ve Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story. So sweet!! He should put it out as a single! For real!
Future Music Moves
Aside from his time with Khai, Zayn does have some business moves in the mix as well. His new single Love Like This is set to drop… soon? As ET and others note, it’s unclear exactly when the song will be released. But it’s supposedly a “summer-ready” single — and one the singer is very proud of. We have to imagine this interview is an early part of a promotional push for it. So it must be sooner rather than later. We’d guess this summer, maybe even late this month!
He told Cooper that it’ll be “a different sound” from his previous work, adding:
“It’s a good vibe. It just feels like summer.”
Then he went on to give more deets on what he’s working on musically:
“I’m doing a record I don’t think people are really going to expect. It’s got some more narrative going on, like, real-life experiences and stuff. My daughter’s mentioned in there a couple of times.”
Well that’s definitely interesting!
What do U make of all of Zayn’s commentary on Call Her Daddy, Perezcious readers??
Sound OFF with your takes down in the comments (below)…