Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik has given an in-depth interview in which he cites creative differences as the reason for his departure from the boyband.

Speaking to entertainment magazine Fader, the 22-year-old said he left the group in March 2015 because he had no opportunity to experiment and fully display his talents. 

"If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as ****, so they could use that version," he recounted.

Malik said that his suggestions fell on deaf ears, with a "general conception" that the group's management already had the plans made.

One Direction

"I just wasn't convinced with what we were selling," he continued. "I wasn't 100 percent behind the music. It wasn't me. It was music that was already given to us, and we were told, 'This is what is going to sell to these people'. As much as we were the biggest, most famous boyband in the world, it felt weird. We were told to be happy about something that we weren't happy about."

Now pursuing a solo career, Malik said sales were not his primary focus and that he is more concerned with reaching fans "in the right way". 

"I want them to believe what I'm saying," he stressed. "I've done enough in terms of financial backing for me to live comfortably. I just want to make music now."

"If people want to listen to that, then I'm happy. If they don't want to listen to it, then don't ******* listen to it. I'm cool with that too. I've got enough. I don't need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied," he added.

One Direction released their new album, Made in the AM, last week and are due to go on an extended break next year.