Tensions rose on Twitter between Zayn Malik and his former One Direction band mate Louis Tomlinson on Wednesday, with Zayn coming to the defence of his producer friend Naughty Boy during an exchange of heated messages. The spat escalated after the musician, who has been working with Zayn on new material, posted a filtered picture of the two in the studio with the caption: "Replace this."
One Direction in happier times
Though he didn't mention the post specifically, fans drew their own conclusions when Louis posted a tweet saying: "Remember when you were 12 and you used to think those Mac filters for your pictures were cool haha ! Some people still do HA!"
Naughty Boy, real name Shahid Khan, replied: "and some people can't even sing.. but who's complaining when there's auto tune eh."
"Forgot you were such an in demand producer .... How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else's career?" asked Louis, before Naughty Boy defended his CV by revealing that he has worked with Sam Smith and Emile Sande.
At this point Zayn came to the defence of his friend, tweeting directly to Louis: "remember when you had a life and stopped making... comments about mine?"
Louis continued to tweet the producer, defending One Direction's sales and reminding Naughty Boy that he writes many of the pop band's songs, but appeared to refrain from tweeting Zayn directly.
Zayn confirmed he was leaving the pop band after five years in March.
In a statement, the star said: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band.
"I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.
"I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."