Zayn Malik is not interested in his celebrity status.
"I hate the word celebrity," the 23-year-old singer tells HighSnobiety Magazine. "I think it's a dangerous road to go down, thinking of yourself as a celebrity, because then you somehow automatically think that label makes you superior to other people. Some people just want to hang around you because they know your name ... I can see through that bulls**t a mile off."
Malik first gained fame at 17 after auditioning for The X Factor UK and being placed in the newly formed boy band, One Direction. Malik later became the first member to leave said boy band in 2015 and released his debut solo album, Mind of Mine, earlier this year.
"I think to really 'make it' in a commercial sense, you have to be a bit of a faker," he says. "If you're not going to be fake, then you need a really thick skin."
Malik admits to feeling "a lot of pressure" in his public role, but maintains that he "never claimed to be a role model, I just make music."
Malik will channel his real-life experience into a new TV series called Boys, which will chronicle the ups and downs of a fictional boy band navigating the spotlight. Malik is producing the project with Dick Wolf for Universal Television.