Harry Styles has revealed he and fellow One Direction members had no idea Zayn Malik was unhappy in the group before his departure.
Malik left the hugely popular boy band in 2015 citing his desire to live as a "normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.
He subsequently signed a solo recording contract and has so far released two albums. However, there has been persistent rumours of a rift between Malik and his bandmates, though this has been denied by all parties.
The latest comments from Styles would appear to confirm there were no hard feelings at Malik’s departure.
Speaking on New Music Daily with Zane Lowe recently, he explained: "It was kind of like we were sad, obviously, that someone had left, but also sad that he was not enjoying it so much that he had to leave.
"Because I think at the time too, the tour and everything was going so well and everyone had kind of got to this place where everyone was kind of living in a way where they I think felt pretty good. It felt like everyone was kind of enjoying it."
Continuing on how the group saw Malik’s decision to leave, Styles said: "I'd say a big part of it was us kind of being like, 'Wow.' You didn't realise he wasn't enjoying it that much."
He went on to admit it would haven been “counter productive” for him to have remained in the group.
"Why would you want an artist to make stuff for you when they don't want to make it,” he questioned.
Styles released his self-titled debut album back in 2017. His follow-up effort, Fine Line, is set to be released on December 13, and was preceded by singles Lights Up and Watermelon Sugar