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“Before I started writing properly my own stuff, I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead."

By Annie Reuter

Lately, Zayn Malik has been keeping busy. The former boy band star has recently teamed up with M.I.A. for a song off her forthcoming album AIM and he starred in a video for the collaboration he did with the British dance duo Snakehips, “Cruel.”

Related: Zayn Malik on Leaving One Direction: ‘It Didn’t Feel Brave’

M.I.A. said she and Zayn have been working together on WhatsApp to complete a song called “Freedun,” reported Entertainment Weekly. She added that she originally considered writing songs for Malik’s debut solo album, Mind of Mine, before she began her own project.

“We have the same publishers and they wanted me to demo some songs for Zayn,” she said. “Before I started writing properly my own stuff [for AIM], I was thinking maybe I’ll write for other people instead. I really wanted to write a song for Zayn….We had a couple people in common. And that’s how it came about. I didn’t really approach him for my own record until later on. First, I thought I wanted to try writing a song for him.”

M.I.A.’s fifth album, AIM drops Sept. 9.

Check out Malik’s video with Snakehips below:

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