Zain Javadd 'Zayn' Malik ( born 12 January 1993) is an English singer and songwriter, and a former member of the boy band One Direction. In 2010, Malik auditioned as a solo artist for the British television series The X Factor. After being eliminated as a solo performer, Malik was brought back into the competition, along with four other contestants, to form the group that would later become known as One Direction. During his time in the group, Malik, along with his bandmates, released four commercially successful albums, performed on a worldwide tour, and won several awards. In March 2015, Malik's representative announced the singer's departure from the band. He eventually signed to RCA Records as a solo artist.