A demo recording of Malik's solo track leaked Monday, giving the world a taste of the former One Direction member's
new sound. However, less than 12 hours after it was posted to SoundCloud, the track was removed.
The song, "I Don't Mind," was posted by U.K. producer Naughty Boy, who Malik had been working with in the recording studio. The producer revealed the demo in a tweet which read, "Let the music do the talking guys. Thank us later."
The song, a decidedly different sound than most of the more upbeat, higher-tempo tunes Malik performed with 1D, is a soulful, emotional ballad set to an acoustic guitar accompaniment.
The demo's leak comes after Naughty Boy and Malik's former One Direction group mate Louis Tomlinson engaged in a Twitter argument, after Naughty Boy continued to promote his collaborations with Malik.
"Wow @NaughtyBoyMusic you're so inconsiderate pal," Tomlinson wrote. "Seriously how f*cking old are you? Grow up!"
Later, Naughty Boy tweeted out an inspirational quote that may have been referring to Malik's decision to exit One Direction. The quote read, "Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy."
The song -- as well as Zayn and Naughty Boy's collaboration which is being referred to by some as "Zaughty" -- received quite a bit of backlash from fans online.
Although the demo and the collaboration weren't without their supporters as well.