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Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik signs solo deal with RCA

Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik

Former One Direction band member Zayn Malik, center, photographed after a fashion show in Paris in June, has signed a solo deal with RCA Records. He left One Direction earlier this year.

(Kamil Zihnioglu / AP)

The other shoe has dropped on Zayn Malik’s new direction, with an announcement Thursday that the singer and songwriter who exited boy band One Direction in March has signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records.

The announcement offered no details of when Malik’s first release is expected.

“With RCA, Zayn has the perfect label to work with on his solo career,” said Syco Music chief Simon Cowell, whose televised U.K. singing competition “The X Factor” was the springboard for One Direction’s success in 2010. “They are excited about working with him, and I am sure whatever they release together will be special.”

Malik, considered the “quiet, mysterious” member while he was with the group, was born Zain Javadd Malik in 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.

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Following the March 25 announcement that he was leaving One Direction, speculation about a solo career began almost immediately, fueled by reports of him being spotted at a London recording studio with producer Naughty Boy.

Malik subsequently alluded to his intentions to pursue a solo career and indicated he would release his own album in 2016.

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