British music producer Naughty Boy has confirmed that Zayn Malik will feature on his new album. The 29-year-old teased at the collaboration in January when he shared a picture of them together, however it is only now that he has spoken about working with the One Direction star.
"I can't deny the fact that we have made music together," the producer, real name Shahid Khan, told The Sun. "Zayn is going to feature on my next album."
"We're making music and having fun. This is just like a side gig and I don't think there's anything wrong with it."
Naughty Boy continued to say that Simon Cowell approves of the collaboration, and it doesn't affect the future of One Direction.
"Simon's very happy with the song and supports the whole thing," he revealed. "I think mine and Zayn's relationship is better because of our relationship with Simon.
"We went to his house a couple of weeks ago and just had a couple of drinks and chilled out.
"I know Simon loves every one of them and wants them to stay together. I still think there's nothing wrong with trying things. They're all experimenting and dabbling but I think the band will be together for the next 20 years."
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Naughty Boy teased at the collaboration on Twitter in January
Naughty Boy is best known for his 2013 number one single La, La, La which features the vocals of a then relatively unknown Sam Smith.
Zayn is not the first member of One Direction to work on their own music away from the band – his bandmate Harry Styles recorded a collaboration with Meaghan Trainor – although it is unclear if the 21-year-old is working on a solo album.
However Directioners need not fear for the future of the group, they are set to continue their world tour until the end of October, and band member Niall Horan said they will keep going "as long as people want us".