Zayn Malik says he used to be profiled at U.S. airports


What's that gentle, cologne-scented breeze? Could it be—the first whispers of Zayn's second solo album cycle? Indeed!

In a new interview with the U.K.'s Evening Standard, the former One Direction member born Zayn Malik talks about coping with his extreme level of fame, dating it-girl model Gigi Hadid, and designing a new capsule collection for Versace. His life sounds pretty damn sweet, but it wasn't always: When 1D were an upstart boy band first visiting the U.S., Malik says, airport security used to single him out for additional scrutiny because of his name and Muslim heritage:

"The first time I came to America, I had three security checks before I got on the plane; first they said that I'd been randomly selected, and then they said it was something to do with my name, it was flagging something on their system," he says. "Then when I landed, it was like a movie. They kept me there for three hours, questioning me about all kinds of crazy stuff. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused. The same thing happened the next time too."

His experience sounds exhausting, but in the interview, at least, Malik strikes a very conciliatory tone about the apparent racial profiling. "I don't think there's any benefit to getting angry -- it's something that comes with the climate," he says. "I understand why they've got to do it."

29 PHOTOS
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik together
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Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik together
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid seen on January 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Model Gigi Hadid (L) and singer Zayn Malik are seen walking in Soho on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid arrive at 'Laperouse' restaurant on February 28, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017on October 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid seen leaving Versus Versace Show on Day 2 of London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2017 on September 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik seen out on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid arrive to Gigi Hadid's apartment on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Gigi Hadid and boyfriend Zayn Malik hold hands as they walk in Manhattan on September 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik seen on the streets of Manhattan on July 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 06: Zayn Malik and model Gigi Hadid are seen walking in Soho on July 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
❤️Summer Loving....... #Family
happy birthday to my everything ❤️
missing mine 😊
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik seen out together before Zayn iHeart Radio concert on March 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: Zayn Malik and girlfriend supermodel Gigi Hadid help a fan that fainted after seeing the couple leaving their East Village apartment on March 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 25: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik help a fan than that fell in front of them on March 25, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid (L) and Zayn Malik attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid (L) and Zayn Malik attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik departs The Carlyle on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik departs The Carlyle on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Model Gigi Hadid and singer Zayn Malik attend 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attends 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Model Gigi Hadid and singer Zayn Malik attend 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Zayn Malik (L) and Gigi Hadid attend the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik arrive for the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik attend 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
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Oh, and about that new album: Malik is currently in New York finishing up the final songs. He's hinting at an upcoming world tour as well. (His first solo album was last year's Mind of Mine, a commercial success and critical "meh.")

Finally, we've learned that Zayn Malik loves to bake savory pies: "I cook a mean chicken and sweetcorn pie, with Alfredo sauce. I make my own pastry, roll it out and everything." He does steak and potatoes, too. His mom was a chef! Zayn, please, send us your recipe.

This article was originally published on Spin.

1 PHOTOS
One Direction through the years
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One Direction through the years
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 15: (L-R) Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform on stage at Century Link Field on July 15, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
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