Zayn Malik speaks out about quitting 1D

“Crazy and wild and a bit mad.”

That’s how Zayn Malik described his decision to quit One Direction, a decision that caused grief among the boy bands’ fans and set the Internet ablaze Wednesday.

Malik gave his first interview since the announcement to the U.K. newspaper The Sun on Wednesday (as reported by People and the BBC), opening up about why he felt it was time for him to leave the group.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he said in the interview. “But I’ve never felt more in control in my life. I feel like I’m doing what’s right, right by myself and right by the boys.”

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In the interview Malik denied that there are any conflicts between the band members, saying those claims “couldn’t be more wrong.”

“My band has been really supportive. They’ve been cool about it,” he said. “And they understand that, you know, it’s not real to me anymore.”

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