Zayn’s Back and Wants Your Attention

Madisyn Siebert, Staff Writer

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Zayn Malik, also known as the first member of One Direction to go solo, released his new single “Dusk Till Dawn” featuring Sia on Sept. 7 for his impending sophomore album. The music video dropping the same day acquired 9.77 million views in one day, not a record breaker by far, but a good place to start for both artists to generate hype for upcoming albums.

The song itself has a very Sia vibe that is focused on pop and long rifts. Zayn in his premiere album “Mind of Mine” made the conscious effort to stay away from “generated pop,” wanting to distance himself from the music he was making in One Direction. He was mostly using R&B influences, with also a mixture of Pakistani influences. Zayn has started to embrace his pop vibe once again, as seen with his featuring on the Taylor Swift song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”

The music video directed by Marc Webb sets up a coherent story from start to finish, which can be rare to find today. That might be because Webb and his history in the movie and television industry, known for movies such as “(500) Days of Summer,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Gifted.” He also worked with many musicians directing music videos, such as Green Day, Maroon 5, My Chemical Romance, Miley Cyrus and much more. Webb did take a seven-year break from directing music videos, with “Dusk Till Dawn” being his first music video since 2010.

The story highlights Zayn as the star, getting into some mysterious business that the police and other groups want a piece of whatever he has to offer in his briefcase. The story pans out to Zayn trying to go to a drop location to leave a briefcase for his female co-star, Jemima Kirke, but Zayn gets intercepted by the police. In the middle of the music video they cut to an acting scene, which sadly Zayn acts terribly in, where the police are questioning him and ultimately have to let him go, as not having any evidence to hold him. Zayn drives off in his fancy Jaguar, speeding through the streets of Los Angeles, police on his heels still suspecting him. Zayn ultimately leads them to a house that is setup to make the police arrive and inspect it, but it’s not that simple. Zayn calls the police to the house and sets up a trap to make firecrackers go off in the bathroom, so when the other police officers arrive, they are not aware that more police are in there, and after hearing the firing of firecrackers, they begin to shoot at the house. Zayn is then seen driving off into the distance with his female accomplice, having gotten away once again.

The filming in the video is surprisingly captivating, keeping the viewer interested in the story. Was the middle necessary though when they cut the music and made Zayn act? I do not think so. It was a cringe-worthy performance on Zayn’s part and he should really stick to singing. The music video also did not seem to align with the point of the song, but the beat and vibe of the song did align with the story. I also just think it was a chance for Zayn to drive fancy cars throughout LA and act like a wannabe bad boy and he took the opportunity. Sia was also not featured in the music video, and it would have been to their benefit to have included her in the music video, especially since the sound of the song is more her style than Zayn’s, but maybe her schedule just so happened to conflict with shooting which is a high possibility.

“Dusk Till Dawn” may not be a no. 1, but it is definitely a song that showcases both strong vocal abilities of Zayn and Sia. If this a taste of what to expect for Zayn in the future, I can say I’m excited to see what his impending album will bring, especially if he is going back to his pop roots.