Zayn Malik has revealed that he wants to show fans who he really is with his brand new record deal.

The former One Direction star tweeted about his new deal with RCA Records, saying he left the boyband so he could make music that represents who he is as a person.

He posted a black and white picture of himself grinning widely as he signed his deal, and tweeted: "I guess I never explained why I left , it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who i really am! #realmusic #RCA !! ... #REALME (sic)"

Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson are among the high-profile names signed to the record label which is part of Sony Music Entertainment.

Meanwhile, X Factor mogul Simon Cowell congratulated Malik on the move, saying RCA Records are "the perfect label" for the singer's solo career.

The move comes just over four months since Malik's shock exit from One Direction. In March he departed the boyband's On the Road Again tour, citing stress as the reason for returning to the UK. Within days he released the below statement saying he was leaving the band for good.

"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. 

"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."

The response to Malik's new record deal has been varied on Twitter.