By Janae McGee, E23 Reporter

Zayn Malik ruined my life, and for the low price of $1.29, he can ruin yours too. 10:24 p.m. on Thursday was when I got the first inkling that something was wrong. In a short amount of time, about six weeks, I have managed to ingratiate myself into the strange and passionate world of One Direction fans. Gracie, a girl I follow on Twitter who has actually met Zayn Malik in real life, tweeted in hysterics.

That’s all I needed to know. It happened. Zayn Malik’s first solo single, “PILLOWTALK,” was released. I scrambled electronically, refreshing pages and switching tabs, until I found it. The local Zayn Malik fans congregated in my room. The first strange beats blasted out of my TV, and a floormate fell to the floor. The first lines are wailed, and it’s new and familiar.

Allow me to take this moment to admit that I might be a little biased. I got into One Direction for Zayn Malik and his quitting of the band was a sad moment I celebrated. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, I’m a Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake type of fan.

Anyone following the press circuit Malik’s been doing knew that the production quality was going to be high. Malik is signed with RCA, home to Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake, and James “Malay” Ho, known for executively producing Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange,” is producing the album.

High production mixed with Malik’s voice and a dash of anti-pop One Direction sentiment? Turns out you still get a pop song, but with more obvious sexual references and the occasional F-bomb. Malik said R&B and even if “PILLOWTALK” isn’t there quite yet, I think it’s safe to assume he’s not putting his most edgy or different song out first. “PILLOWTALK” is catchy, fitting in perfectly with other sexy pop songs that are on the radio, not too far from Drake or ScHoolBoy Q’s slower, overplayed jams.

As if putting out a song wasn’t enough to kill me, he also released the music video for his single the same night. The video still has his style, trippy and common, but I think the best way I’ve described it was “if FKA Twigs decided to play it safe”. The video features Malik and model Gigi Hadid kissing and crying paint with graphics that are at times impressive and at other times kind of cheesy.

The song is worth having a listen although I’d say you don’t have to run to your computer as I’m sure you’ll hear it on the radio soon enough. Malik’s album “MIND OF MINE” comes out March 25, weirdly enough the same day he left One Direction last year. What a strange coincidence.