Zayn Malik partially quit One Direction because he "selfishly" wanted to be the first member to release a solo record.

The 30-year-old singer - who is making his solo comeback this summer - has confessed that he wanted to be the first to release his own music because he's extremely "serious and competitive" when it comes to music and business.

He told the 'Call Her Daddy' podcast in a rare interview: “I completely, selfishly wanted to be the first person to go and make my own record, if I’m being completely honest with you. I was like, 'I’m gonna jump the gun here for the first time.' I’m a passive dude, but when it comes to my music and my business, I’m serious about it and I’m competitive. So I wanted to be the first to go and do my own thing.”

Zayn released his debut solo single 'Pillowtalk' in January 2016, after leaving the 'What Makes You Beautiful' boy band in March 2015.

It debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100, making the star the first British artist to debut at number one in the US with a debut single.

Although there was a lot of "politics" going on within the band - which was formed on 'The X Factor' in 2010 and went on an indefinite hiatus in 2016 - Zayn looks back fondly on his time in the group, recalling it being both "fun and a rush".

He said: "Now I look back at it like it was a rush, you know? It was fun and it was something that was amazing, so of course I wasn't going to understand it. It's not something I expected in my life, but it was definitely fun for sure."

Harry Styles, 29, is the most successful member of One Direction, with the most solo top 10s in the UK.

One Direction was also comprised of Louis Tomlinson, 31, and Liam Payne and Niall Horan, both 29.

Upon leaving the group, Zayn - who has released three solo albums to date - said he made the decision because he wanted to "live a normal life".

He told heartbroken fans: “I’ve made my decision, and I’m at peace with it. I don’t want to live a life where everything I do is put on the internet and dissected.

"I don’t want to be photographed every second. I want to disappear for a while. I want to live a normal life. I’m going to be happier.

“There’s no bad blood between me and the boys, though - it’s nothing to do with them and I wish them all the best.”