Pillowtalk
by Zayn

Album: Mind of Mine (2016)
Charted: 1 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Zayn Malik's debut single following his departure from One Direction is a downtempo electronic R&B song containing adult imagery and plenty of F-bombs. It represents a break from the pop tunes he previously sung as a boyband member. Malik co-wrote the song with Anthony Hannides and Michael Hannides of MYKL and Levi Lennox, who also produced the track.
  • Sex was clearly on Malik's mind when penning the track. He told The Sunday Times: "(The song is) pretty black and white. Everybody has sex, and it's something people want to hear about. It's part of everybody's life, a very big part of life! And you don't want to sweep it under the carpet. It has to be talked about."
  • The song's steamy music video was directed by Bouha Kazmi and finds Malik navigating a sexual fantasy. It features his rumoured girlfriend, the model Gigi Hadid, who also showed up in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" and Calvin Harris' "How Deep Is Your Love" clips.

    Zayn revealed the inspiration for the clip during a radio interview with L.A. radio show, Zach Sang and the Gang. "Mostly my idea," he said. "I wanted it to be representational of the art that I'm looking at the minute, even just a perspective level, on the surface of it I wanted it be arty, and different and out-there. That was the whole feel for the video, We wanted a dream-feel to it."
  • Zayn penned the song not long after leaving One Direction. "Basically, I wrote that shortly after I left the band," he said. "Got in the studio with a couple of writers that go by the name of Mike and Anthony Hannides. We wrote that song around the time that I was feeling those emotions and I feel like that's why it came out the way it did. I feel like in the vocal you can get a sense that I'm meaning what I'm saying."
  • Speaking on the Elvis Duran Morning Show, Zayn said the song is more than just being about sex. "The actual intent of the song is even though you have great times in a relationship, you have really bad times as well," he explained. "But that's what kind of makes it worthwhile, because you learn things and go through experiences that bring you closer together. That's the actual intent of the song."

    "Obviously you have sex, and sometimes you fight during your relationship, so I did mention that in the song," Zayn added. "But it's not solely about sex."
  • The song spent its first week at #1 on the Hot 100. In doing so, Zayn became the first UK artist to enter the US charts at the top with a debut single.

    Zayn also eclipsed his former One Direction bandmates by charting higher than any other song 1D had released Stateside. Their highest rank had been achieved by the accurately titled "Best Song Ever," which peaked at #2.
  • By topping the February 20, 2016 Hot 100, Zayn replaced Zager & Evans as the last artist alphabetically with a Hot 100 #1. Zager & Evans spent six weeks at the peak position in 1969 with "In the Year 2525."
  • The title doesn't appear in the chorus and shows up just once in the lyric: The only time we hear Zayn say "Pillowtalk" is at the beginning of the second verse.
  • Lil Wayne jumps on the song's remix. Both Weezy and Zayn add new verses continuing the between-the-sheets theme on the new version.
  • Mind of Mine spent its first week on the US album chart at #1. This meant that Zayn joined Clay Aiken and Lauryn Hill as the only artists in history to have had a #1 debut single and debut album on the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Jon Anderson

Jon AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Jon Anderson breaks down the Yes classic "Seen All Good People" and talks about his 1000 Hands album, which features Chick Corea, Rick Derringer, Ian Anderson, and many other luminaries.

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

Petula Clark

Petula ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.