The renowned singer Zayn Malik covers Elle U.K.’s September issue and he gives us the answers to all the questions we’ve been asking for weeks.

He first addresses leaving One Direction – the band that made him a star. Malik announced in March 2015 that he was going to be leaving the boy band to pursue a solo career, turning his old band mates Niall HoranLiam PayneHarry Styles and Louis Tomlinson into a quartet. “At that time in my life I felt I had done everything I could do there and I just needed to change it up,” he told the magazine. “I didn’t feel brave.”

“I just don’t have it in me to feel fully secure in anything I do. I always strive towards something better,” the 23-year-old continued. “It’s why I think sometimes I come across the wrong way, a bit distant. I’m just stressed out trying to control how I’m perceived. I think about things a lot.”

Malik’s solo career proved to be much more difficult than he ever imagined. “My entire life has changed in the last year. I’m still taking it all in. I’ve found so much out about myself. Mostly how in love with music I still was. The album is a build up of six years and never being able to express what I wanted to say,” he explained. “I had something to get off my chest.”

The pop star was happy that he was able to start making his own fashion choices. “Since leaving One Direction I’ve been given the freedom to be able to wear whatever I want and that’s made it more interesting. More creative. I can say I want to wear metal arms and it’ll happen.”

Of course, he had to comment on his super successful girlfriend Gigi Hadid. “She’s super intelligent; I think that’s why it works so well,” he told the magazine. “And we do the same type of job so we get that with each other.”

Malik credits his mother and three sisters for keeping him sane in this industry. “I enjoyed the womanly influence. I have a lot of respect for women because of them. They are so strong, powerful and do everything themselves,” the pop star said of being raised in a female-dominated household. “When I go back to Bradford they treat me exactly the same. It’s why I only ever go back for a few days, otherwise they have me taking out the bins.”

Be sure to check out Malik’s full interview in Elle U.K’s September issue on August 3. 

What do you guys think about Zayn's Elle interview? Were your questions answered?