Zayn Malik signs solo record deal

Zayn Malik has told fans he will reveal the "real me" after signing a new solo record deal. The former One Direction star, who left the band in March, shared a photograph of himself signing a contract with RCA Records on Wednesday.

"I guess I never really explained why I left, it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am! #realmusic #RCA!!" he wrote alongside, later sharing a second tweet that read: "#REALME."

Zayn Malik has signed a new solo record deal with RCA Records

His former boss Simon Cowell – who signed One Direction to his Syco label - was quick to offer his congratulations to the 22-year-old. "We've been working on this for a while and I am pleased to say congratulations to @ZaynMalik on signing with @RCARecords," he wrote on Twitter.

"I believe they are the perfect label for @ZaynMalik's solo career and I am sure whatever they release together will be special."

A source recently told the Sun: "It's a big move for Simon because Zayn could have a very big successful solo career but his absolute priority remains the band and this is a big statement on his part.

Zayn has promised to show fans the "real me" with his solo material

"Simon set up a deal that suits Zayn and One Direction. Zayn will stay in the Sony family under a different label and it’s totally with Simon Cowell's blessing. It was just felt to be a bit difficult to have 1D and Zayn on the same label – and everyone felt it was better for him to be somewhere different.

"Since leaving the band, Zayn has changed management and lawyers so it would kind of make sense for him to work with a new label team."

RCA Records is an American flagship recording label and part of Sony Music Entertainment. Its impressive roster includes the likes of Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Shakira.