Zayn Covers Paper Magazine’s ‘Sexy’ Issue | Talks Gigi Hadid, Being A Sex Symbol & His Solo Career

1Zayn Malik covers the latest edition of Paper Magazine.

Tagged, the Sexy Issue, the edition sees the former One Direction member looking hot as he puffed out smoke while staring into the camera for the cover shoot.

Zayn opens up to the magazine on his relationship with model Gigi Hadid, his solo career, being perceived as a sex symbol among other things.

See more photos and excerpts from his interview below.

On his relationship with Gigi: A warm smile also spreads across his face when he talks about that very famous girlfriend, especially when mentioning that they’re currently taking horseback riding lessons together. “Because my girlfriend rides a little bit,” he says. “Actually, that’s an understatement,” he adds. “She rides very well, and she has since she was a kid. She wants me to do it with her, and I’m not good. But I’m learning, and it’s fun. My first lesson was on a really old horse that didn’t move very much, so it wasn’t that scary. She was on the other horse, the one that moved a lot more. She was jumping over hurdles and I just sat there like, ‘Ok, this is freaky.'”

On what he finds sexiest in a partner: I’ve always said it and I still stand by it: I find intelligence attractive,” he says. “When I learn something from somebody and they teach me something, that’s an attractive thing for me. Obviously, I find physical appearance attractive as well, but it’s definitely squared more towards a personality as I’ve gotten older, because you can’t have a long-term relationship unless you get on with the person. It doesn’t matter really about the exterior.”

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On being a sex symbol: “If girls find me attractive, then that’s a cool thing,” he says. “If guys find me attractive, then that’s a cool thing as well. It’s sick. It’s a compliment. I’m blessed by whoever was up there to be who I am and be able to do what I do. I genuinely mean that.”

On his squeaky-clean style while in One Direction: “Facial hair was a weird thing,” he says. “I think it’s ’cause I just looked old. And they didn’t like that. [And] I always wanted a beard! I think every dude does when they’re young. Seeing Al Pacino in Carlito’s Way — I needed the goatee after that. I was like, ‘I wanna be Al Pacino.’ I’ve always been obsessed with that, and I had to shave it off. I used to get a bit sad.”

On the sexual theme of his debut album: “It wasn’t a conscious decision to make [the album] sexual or refer to sex. But I just found out that a lot of situations that I was in were quite sexual situations — all of the time.” He adds, “I enjoyed singing about [sex], clearly.”

On how he feels about his fans supporting his solo career: “Overwhelming. There’ve been a few moments where I’ve been really taken aback… I feel like everybody looks for some sort of approval from some form in their life, and my fans are my approval. It’s a sense of achievement that you can’t really explain.” He also feels keenly aware of the fact that his fans are truly his own now, saying “to still be valuable by yourself is an important thing.”

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