Listen to the Sexy, Confident “Like I Would,” in Which ZAYN Finally Hits His Stride

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Today, ZAYN dropped a new track, “Like I would,” which will appear as a bonus track on his upcoming first solo LP, Mind of Mine. Since first announcing the LP earlier this year with the release of the steamy bedroom anthem “PILLOWTALK”— which came with an equally steamy music video — ZAYN’s mission for his solo career has become painstakingly clear: He wants to become a walking sex symbol. Well, maybe not a sex symbol, exactly, but at least someone whose knowledge of love and relationships extends past the thinly-veiled misogyny of telling a girl that she’s beautiful precisely because she doesn’t know that she is.

This maturation shouldn’t be surprising though. Along with the fact that many artists who leave boy bands (and girl groups, for that matter) reach for an edgier, sexier sound with their solo material, ZAYN’s statements regarding his new sound direction have always hinted at a sexual tension.

Back in November, he told The Fader — in his first major interview as a solo act — that one of the reasons he left One Direction was because the music they were making “was not music that [he] would listen to.” He even half-jokingly asked the interviewer, “Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl?” Though the interviewer’s answer isn’t noted in the profile, ZAYN’s is — he immediately replied, “I wouldn’t.”

Unfortunately, up until now his music favored sex more than sound and the results were less-than-groundbreaking. “PILLOWTALK” skyrocketed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its release — aided, predictably, by the overall excitement surrounding its release — but rapidly plummeted in the following weeks.

However, ZAYN’s just-released third offering from Mind of Mine — following the aforementioned “PILLOWTALK” and the followup single “iT’s YoU” — doesn’t take longer than 50 seconds, when the first drop hits, to prove that this is the song destined to solidify ZAYN as the popstar that he’s been being marketed as for the past few months. “LIKE I WOULD” is a confidently sexy track that’s also sonically exciting and clearly made for the radio, and — if the fact that it is only a bonus track doesn’t prevent it — that’s exactly where you will start hearing it for the rest of the year.

Mind of Mine is only two weeks away and can now be preordered on iTunes.

Here’s “LIKE I WOULD”: