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The Royal Courier

“Room Under The Stairs”: a new album by Zayn Malik


After a long writing process of six years, singer-songwriter Zayn Malik has finally released his fourth studio album, “Room Under The Stairs,” May 17, entrancing listeners with his captivating and angelic voice.
The 15 song tracklist shows Malik’s journey to self discovery as he undergoes both love and loss. With many beautiful arching melodies, the album gives fans a sense into who Malik has truly become since his 2010 debut in the boy band, One Direction.
The album opens with the song “Dreamin,” setting the tone of the album with a melancholic feel with bits of hope. The entirety of the songs are backed by an acoustic guitar, giving the album a country-like vibe and allowing Malik’s heavenly voice to be the main focus.
Prior to the album, “What I Am” was released March 14 as the lead single and second track on “Room Under The Stairs.” The song has an immense amount of vulnerability poured into it with lyrics like “Take me as I am/I’m tired of dancin’ around the point,” leaving fans wondering who the song could possibly be about.
The fourth track of the album, “Alienated,” was released as a single, April 12, soon becoming a fan favorite for several people. The song focuses on the feeling of being isolated and he refers to his past relationship with model Gigi Hadid. He sings lyrics like “Say goodbye to the past/Leave it all with a laugh,” encouraging his fans to leave the past behind and focus on the future.
The name of the album comes from the fact that most of the songs were recorded in a small shoe cabinet at his house in rural Pennsylvania, where the album was also written entirely by Malik himself. The singer had felt that it was a fitting name to give to show more sentiment and allow people to get a better idea of what the album is about.
The album was co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, who is well known for working with other artists like Chris Stapelton and Lady Gaga. “What got me about Zayn was his voice, you can hear love, loss, pain, triumph and humanity in it. I feel as if this record is removing the glass from his spirit directly to his fans,” Cobb said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Malik has said in recent interviews that inspiration for the album has come from artists such as Stapelton and Willie Nelson, also contributing to the change in genre Malik’s music has undergone.
“Room Under The Stairs,” has been one of Malik’s most personal and raw works, different from the usual R&B kind of music he usually produces in his three previous albums. The album has a strikingly mature, country type of sound, however in a recent interview with Zach Sang, Malik said, “I haven’t got a name for the genre, It’s just me.”
Along with the release of the album, Malik debuted his music video for the seventh track, “Stardust.” The video was directed by Frank and Ivanna Borin, capturing Malik as a creature exploring the earth in an ethereal way.
Malik performed a one night concert at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on the album’s day of release. He sang a six song set list with songs from the album, including, (put songs). The venue had only a 2000 space capacity, making the performance incredibly intimate between Malik and his fans.
Malik’s last live concert was about nine years ago, when he was in One Direction. Because of his severe anxiety, a blockage was put between him and the stage for many years, making a number of fans incredibly proud of him for performing for his new album.
“Room Under The Stairs” has so far gotten several amazing reviews from fans, as it shows the vulnerability and honesty that was put into the album from Malik, also allowing some listeners to heavily relate to the singer.

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Jenna Espinoza
Jenna Espinoza, Editor In Chief & A&E Editor
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