Zayn Malik made his struggles with mental health known to fans in June when canceling a performance at London’s Captial Summertime Ball (E News). Malik released a statement on Twitter the day of the performance apologizing to fans who were waiting to see him and letting them know that his anxiety had been “haunting him for months.” Malik said he was experiencing the worst anxiety of his career. In September, after canceling his June performance, Malik then canceled an October performance that was supposed to take place at the Autism Rocks Arena located in Dubai. “With the unfortunate cancellation of this show 117Live will ensure that ticket holders will receive full refund from their respective point of sales,” 117Live assured their customers in a statement. A letter written from Malik to his fans, apologizing and updating his “Zquad” on his mental health progress was included on the webpage.
The approach the former One Direction star’s representatives took was an honest one. In the statements that were released, fans were given the chance to understand what the singer was dealing with instead of guessing and assuming the reasons the shows were being canceled. The official statements were both signed by the singer. This tactic removed the middle man and gave Malik’s fans a chance to understand the extent of his anxiety. Malik directly opening up about his struggle provided fans with a truth they could accept more easily than the message it from a representative. The statement for the first cancellation was posted as an image to his Twitter account without a caption. “I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation,” Malik wrote. In the second statement, The progress Malik has made with his anxiety was highlighted. He then went on to say he did “not feel confident” continuing with the plans to perform in Dubai. Both statements were person and sincere.
Malik’s anxiety situation is very similar to Justin Bieber’s. According to Us Weekly in March, Bieber canceled the remainder of his meet and greets because the meet and greet events had been causing the singer to feel “exhausted to the point of depression.” Bieber also broke the news on social media, using Instagram to share his struggles with his mental health (Hollywood Life). “Love you guys,” Bieber wrote. ” I’m going to be canceling my meet and greets. I enjoy meeting such incredible people but I end up feeling so drained and unhappy…” According to Celebuzz, in 2013, Bieber’s battle with depression was worse than what outsiders could see. Scooter Braun, who is Bieber’s manager, feared that if The singer continued to work and tour at that specific time, Bieber could have died. Both Malik and Bieber and putting their mental health over anything else while still caring and respecting their fans.
Going from a group with four other people to being a solo artist, Malik’s situation is an unfortunate situation to be in. His anxiety is taking a toll on his ability to perform alone but Hhe and his team took the right steps to keep a connection with fans while informing them of his anxiety predicament. When being dishonest the truth sometimes finds a way to expose itself anyway, so it’s commendable that the statements or letters to fans were honest about his personal situation. As Malik mentioned, the fans that have anxiety can relate and understand the anxiety struggles he is facing when it comes to major solo performances. The opennes of the statements also gives others the chance to empathize with what he has been dealing with as a newly solo artist.