Six months ago, a news broke the hearts of many Directioners (One Direction fans) when its member Zayn Malik announced that he will be officially leaving One Direction, he reasoned he wants private and normal life away from the limelight. However, just few weeks ago, he revealed the real reason why he left One Direction. He had signed contracts with RCA Records for his solo album. Yes, going solo is his real reason why he left the group which upset many Directioners.
Now, the question is, will he be able to make it big like any other successful artists who were originally from the group? Many members of successful groups did not succeed going solo. Only few of them became real icons. Let’s consider, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys. His debut album had decent sales but never brought him to the heights. Another example is the members of the Spice Girls which all of them did their solo projects. They were successful in their native UK and some parts of Europe, but never spread to the entire world. Their solo fan bases are limited. Melanie C and Geri Halliwell became biggest selling members of the group though who had real solo number 1 hits.
Among those former group members who became successful on their own were Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, which these three became pop icons. Michael Jackson became one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Beyonce and Justin Timberlake were two artists from a group and now pop icons of this generation. Beyonce who scored 5 consecutive number 1 albums was formerly from successful girl group Destiny’s Child, while Justin Timberlake was from boyband NSYNC.
There are factors though that can contribute to an artist’s success. During the time of Michael Jackson, technology is still miles away from what we have now and competition wasn’t that tight. During Beyonce and Justin Tinberlake’s debut years, there’s no social media. But today, there are many ways to advertise or promote one’s music. Social media, other platforms of selling music. It depends on an artist’s activity.
As a former member of One Direction, Zayn Malik has been active in social media and interacts with their fans. With right music and promotion, he can be among those successful solo stars who carved their name in the music industry.