Zayn Malik signed with RCA Records on Wednesday, officially kicking off his solo career after leaving One Direction.

Zayn Malik Signs With RCA Records

Malik abruptly left One Direction in March when the British boy band was in the middle of a world tour. The reason for Malik’s sudden departure from the band remains a bit of a mystery, but now Malik has come clean, saying he left to have the opportunity to make more personal music.

“I guess I never explained why I left, it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am! #realmusic #RCA !!” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Malik followed up the tweet with a photo of him signing his new contract with RCA Records. The record label boasts an impressive collection of artists, including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

While many Malik fans were excited to hear that the former-One Direction singer would be releasing solo music, other One Directioners were disappointed at Malik’s apparent jab at 1D when he seemed to call his new solo career “real music.” However, Malik quickly revised the hashtag, writing a clarifying tweet with the hashtag “#REALME.”

Simon Cowell Tweets Congratulations To Zayn Malik

One Direction members Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles have yet to comment on Malik’s new record deal, but the mastermind behind One Direction, Simon Cowell, tweeted his approval of Malik’s solo move. “We have been working on this for a while and I am pleased to say congratulations to @Zaynmalik on signing with @RCARecords,” he wrote on Twitter.

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