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Zayn Malik’s Birthday

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Article by: Unscattered Horizons Art by: _wdrawgs_

To celebrate Zayn for his birthday this year, I reached out to the fan base to find out what we adore about our minion-loving, animal protecting, artistically talented, January Capricorn. Zayn will be turning 31 on January 12th, so here are a selection of the many reasons for us to celebrate Zayn this year (and always).

Where no credit is given, the individual asked to remain anonymous. All respondents have given consent for their answers to be shared and were given the option to provide their name and pronouns for credit.

Question: What is your favourite Zayn song and why?

  • Better – it’s a great love song
  • Common; Rainberry; Entertainer (can u tell what my favourite album is?) as for why? Well, common aint us cus common aint enough???? It’s such a raw declaration of a love that’s anything but ordinary. I don’t have the words to describe how Common makes me feel. Rainberry just sends me to an early grave. and Entertainer is so very vulnerable. (sorry i know this isn’t a very good answer but Icarus Falls hurts so good and im listening to it while answering this survey so)
  • Fool for you – I love the more ballad-y sounding songs and his vocals are so pretty in that one 
  • I Don’t Wanna Live Forever. I know it’s probably cliche, but the song just hits right.
  • I refuse to choose only one, but I’ll limit myself to one per album. Mind of Mine: Blue because it is absolutely ethereal and heart wrenchingly soft and vulnerable. Icarus Falls: Common. The complete devotion and comfort of the relationship described warms my soul. Nobody Is Listening: Tightrope and River Road tied because I can’t choose between them. Similar to Common, the depth of love and commitment combined with Zayn’s incredible artistry is inspiring. – Unscattered Horizons (they/them)
  • Intermission: Flower. The song talks about a love so great  he doesn’t feel complete until the heart that owns this love is his. And it is in the language of his and my ancestors and roots which hits close to home. Having an idol who grew up in Western Europe like me and has roots in the same region of Asia. He knows the struggles of being between cultures – Anjori
  • lUcOzAdE. The lyrics are awesome + the stressful atmosphere gets me everytime. – Samsam (she/her)
  • Pillowtalk – Flick
  • Stand Still – Vocally this song is so beautiful. I find myself near tears when I listen to it, feeling the intimacy he’s invoking with his words. – Chelle
  • There You Are. Something about the lyrics and emotions of the song speak to me, and it really helps when I’m feeling down. I will often just put it on a loop, I adore it so much. – Caylee
  • Tightrope, I have such a connection to this song and the beautiful line in Hindi gets me everytime. – Ashley Fawn
  • To Begin Again – The lyrics touched me so much. This song came when covid was still huge. I was low and I felt like things were getting worse. I just couldn’t shake that heavy feeling. This song came like a miracle at that moment. I heard it on repeat all day long for months. Every time I felt down, this song lifted me up. I’ll forever cherish this song with all my heart – Brisy (she/her)

Question: What is your favourite Zayn moment?

  • “My teddy bear” – Lara (they/them)
  • I love seeing him happy and laughing in the old 1D videos. There’s a clip of him and Louis being smiley and cute together and I just love it.
  • I loved it in the ID days when one of the other boys mentioned that Zayn always came up with a “thought of the day” or something like that. It was always something positive and usually something he created on his own. That just shows he was so thoughtful and deliberate. Wanting to bring some sort of light to days that were often probably hard.
  • My favorite Zayn moment is honestly anytime he laughed, no better sound than that – Ashley Fawn
  • The chicken story in Call Me Daddy interview – Samsam (she/her)
  • There are so many good ones, but I’d have to say that one video where he is with the boys and says ‘We’re like 5 best friends’. Zayn went through so much back then and after leaving, and people thinking he hates his former bandmates, or vice versa. Even though we know it isn’t true, hearing him say that or seeing anytime he was genuinely laughing and happy with the boys makes me so happy. That’s the Zayn we all know and love, and he deserves to always be happy like that. – Caylee
  • There’s a moment during the xfactor  live shows where he hits a note I think he didn’t realise he would hit that perfect under the pressure of the situation and you see a tiny grin forming on his face you can tell he’s thinking, “Wow I did that. I’m capable of this ???!!” – Anjori
  • Vas happenin’ Celine
  • Veronica Malik – Unscattered Horizons (they/them)
  • When he bought his mom a house is my all-time favorite. Everything he does is darling, especially when he’s being a nerdy nugget because I’m one too. – Chelle
  • When he made the non alcoholic cocktail. That was an awesome move business wise and also really stood out against the way certain people drink around celebrities who are in recovery, such as Liam. – Flick
  • Zayn talking about his chicken in the call her daddy podcast. I can’t get over his cuteness, innocence, and love – Brisy (she/her)
  • Zayns dubsmash video. Also, instagram lives.

Question: What causes or charities that Zayn has worked with do you want to highlight? What work of Zayn’s are you most proud of? 

  • Ambassador for the Food Foundation, supporting mental health charities, designing an entire clothes line where all proceeds go to Ending Gun Violence, lgbtq+ charities,  i could keep going. I’m so incredibly proud of zayn for using his platform and his music to speak out against racism, bigotry, violence. I’m so proud of him for staying true to himself and his values. 
  • Every humanitarian or animal charity that Z has been involved with is luckier for it. He helps where he can and I love him for that. Also for sharing so more people will open their eyes to social injustices or wars or whatever it is he’s passionate about at a given time – N9nnaDK
  • Feeding Britain. Him giving back to those who have less and share publicly how much his family struggled financially during his childhood shows he realised how privileged he is with the life he leads now. (Zayn) Isn’t willing to forget it and wants to give back and help the stigma of shame for not having something as breakfast at home before school. – Anjori
  • Honestly every single one, he’s so amazing and compassionate. It’s one of the reasons I love him so much! – Ashley Fawn
  • I loved the Free School Meals Campaign. I know how hard it is for many families and how lack of proper nutrition and food can negatively affect children. So, when I saw that zayn joined and supported this campaign, I was so moved by his kind gesture. – Brisy (she/her)
  • I think his work with Feeding Britain is not talked about enough. Even to this day he sells merch on his site that the profits are 100% for that charity. For me though, his new work with Hopefield Animal Sanctuary means so much as I’m an animal lover and activist myself and one day would love to have or be involved with an animal sanctuary. People don’t always see Zayn has such a big heart for so many causes. – Caylee
  • More than any individual project, I truly appreciate Zayn’s continued commitment to charitable organisations and his consistent use of his platform to speak out about social justice and raise awareness around necessary topics for his fanbase to engage with. This shows a true understanding of his status as a celebrity and an empathy that can’t be taught. He genuinely cares about human rights, animal welfare, and dozens of other causes. Zayn understands the intersection and common causative agents of the issues he addresses and the need to platform the organisations to which he contributes.  – Unscattered Horizons (they/them)
  • Oooh there was that one last year where he made a shirt (in extended sizes even!! Go him) that helped to feed the hungry and I thought that was lovely 

Question: What is your favourite Zayn side quest and why?

  • I love paynt. He gets to share his artwork with the world and we all get to enjoy it and wear it as well
  • Mixoloshe – The way he came up with this non-alcoholic drink really touched my heart. There are a lot who promote and support alcoholic drinks. I don’t drink and oftentimes, I felt lonely and left out. When Zayn came up with this, I was so excited. I haven’t tasted it yet since it is not available in my country. But I’m so proud of zayn and happy that he came up with this one – Brisy (she/her)
  • Mixoloshe! We as a society need to normalise being sober. – Lara (they/them)
  • Paynt and Mixoloshe tied. – Flick
  • Paynt by Zayn. He used something he created with his hands and mind and turned it into something for others to wear daily with pride and yet again for charity.  – Anjori
  • Paynt is my favourite as certain parts of the fandom know it’s about Liam, and I just think it’s really beautiful that he put that out there to share with us. If I can add another, it’s Mixoloshe as I think it’s so incredible he chose to be associated with a brand that makes non-alcoholic drinks and caters to people who can’t or don’t want to drink alcohol, as that’s something that’s near and dear to Zayn’s heart. – Caylee
  • Paynt, because I love getting to see Zayn’s artistry in a new way. The pieces I have from both of the released collections are really nice quality and I get compliments every time I wear something from Paynt. I especially love the robot and its partner in the first collection, and the colours that Zayn chose. I’m also really proud of his work with Mixoloshe, because the need for non alcoholic options is very real and under represented. – Unscattered Horizons (they/them)
  • Paynt, because I love Zayns art style so much and to be able to wear it is amazing! – Ashley Fawn
  • Paynt. I have always loved his art and being able to wear it makes me happy.

Final Question: Why do you love Zayn?

  • Because he’s so sweet and so genuine and has the voice of an angel. He is a baby 
  • Because zayn is the sweetest, kindest, most loving soul on this planet. and also insanely talented. and so pretty. 
  • First of all, I’m a fan of his music. But he also seems to be a very sweet, chill and funny guy. – Samsam (she/her)
  • He has this gentle, loving spirit. He’s funny, sweet, and loves animals, and his family. All the nerdy things, like I do. When he sang, ‘You & I’ last summer I was moved, because Liam was going through it. In retrospect, I have so much respect for him doing that for Liam, knowing everything. With Mixoloshe, I am so moved by such a public declaration of love and support for Liam. It crystallizes his depth of character and although only a few of us will realize it for now, it deepened my respect for him tenfold. – Chelle
  • He never gave up, he never gives up. Despite everything, he’s still a great human.
  • He’s just a genuine caring and loyal person
  • His heart. His kindness. How he didn’t let things he cannot control hold him back to achieve his goals and dreams. How he doesn’t limit himself to only sharing 1 facet of the art he creates by everything. His music, his paintings, his poems, his drawings. – Anjori
  • I like that he does his own thing regardless of what people think of him. – Flick
  • I love Zayn because he made me smile on days when I thought I never could. His music truly calms me down and soothes my soul. He’s helped me through every tough time in my life and I’m so thankful for that!  – Ashley Fawn
  • It’s hard to summarise all of the reasons, but I’ll do my best. I love that Zayn is such a nerd, with his affinity for minions and comic books. I love that he values his relationships with family and friends. I love the way he interacts with fans through live streams where he just chills at home and listens to his music with us. I love his resilience and strength in spite of an industry that has consistently undervalued and mistreated him. I love Zayn’s generous heart and kind words. I love his talent and his vulnerability in sharing his music with us, so much of himself on display for the world to see. I love that he doesn’t limit himself to only one path, taking up other artistic disciplines and trying his hand at brand ownership for a product he’s passionate about. I love that he experiments with style and fashion, participating in photo shoots that break the internet and being incredibly cool even when he’s just walking down the street. I’m grateful to have Zayn exactly as he is, to see so many of humanity’s best traits in him, and to know the intentionality it took for Zayn to become the intelligent, kind, empathetic person that so many of us admire. – Unscattered Horizons (they/them)
  • Voice like an angel l, heart of gold, and eyes that stare into your soul. Do I need more reasons? – Lara (they/them)
  • Z is pure love. His beautiful heart and mind just blows me away, time and time again – N9nnaDK
  • Zayn has helped me a lot with his songs. He has always been my inspiration. From seeing him being nervous on the X-factor show to breaking records on his own, he has come so far. I’m always proud of your [Zayn’s] achievements. I’m very nervous in general. I can’t talk in front of a crowd. I get scared. Zayn has been my motivation and I look up to him always whenever I feel like something is hard for me to achieve. It isn’t easy to ignore negativity but I’ve learnt from him how to avoid those and focus on our work. Zayn’s smile and his high notes can change my mood instantly. The amount of creativity he shows always fills me with awe!! I love how he always stands up for what is right to him. I love him so much and I’m so proud of Zayn – Brisy (she/her)
  • Zayn is extremely important to me, so I am a bit more biased towards him. I like to think I understand him in a way not everyone does as our personalities are very similar. He got (and still does to an extent) dismissed as the quiet or mysterious one, and I don’t think enough people see him for who he truly is. He’s got a heart of gold, and he cares so much. Not to mention he’s so intelligent, artistic, and of course he’s got the voice of an angel. It’s difficult to articulate all the reasons why I love Zayn but it comes down to that I relate to him in a lot of different ways, therefore I feel very connected to him. Also knowing some of the things he’s faced, I just want to protect him. Lastly, I just want more people to see how incredible he is. – Caylee 

As you can see, there is no shortage of love for Zayn in this fandom. Please feel free to continue to spread love for Zayn’s birthday in your own way. Maybe donate to a cause he’s passionate about in his honour, share a happy birthday message on twitter or instagram, or stream his incredible music and appreciate what he’s shared with us through his albums.

Happy Birthday, Zayn! I hope this time brings you joy and fulfilment, that you have love and light surrounding you while you continue to grow through another year. I can’t wait to hear the new music, support the new release of Paynt (fingers crossed), and learn what other causes you’re supporting. Thank you for inspiring so many of us!

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