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As of March 2015, the band has sold 6.49 million albums and 23.7 million singles in the United States.
Malik quit the band on 25 March 2015, citing his desire to live as a "normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight", after signing off from the band's On the Road Again Tour for an indefinite period six days prior due to stress.
He denied rumors of any rift between the members, explaining that the band had been supportive of the decision.
Later that year, Malik gave several interviews where he talked about his debut solo studio album and revealed part of the track list.
Discussing Malik's possible solo career after leaving the boyband, Billboard editor Joe Lynch described him as "the quiet one in the group [...] never the one to grab the spotlight during interviews.
In a conversation with Billboard, Malik's main collaborator for the album James "Malay" Ho said they have gone to unusual lengths in pursuit of inspiration during recording sessions, for one “we went camping for a week in the Angeles Forest - set up a generator and a tent so we could track in the woods." The end of February 2016 also saw the releases of the "Pillowtalk (Lil Wayne Remix)", which features American rapper Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown's R&B song "Back to Sleep (Remix)", featuring Usher and Malik.Despite the variations in the sounds and genres, Mind of Mine is structured in an "album-as-complete-work" form, maintaining a tightly knit cohesion throughout the record, with an almost seamless transition between and across songs, Mind of Mine debuted at number one in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and United States, where he became the first British male solo artist to debut at number one with his first album.Zayn debuted atop the US Billboard 200 earning 157,000 equivalent album units in its first week, with 112,000 coming from pure album sales.Its number one debut on Billboard 200 made One Direction the first band in history to have their first three albums all debut atop the Billboard 200.With their fourth album, 2014's Four, they extended the record to four consecutive number-one albums.