History repeats – a music show host helps you get over Zayn Malik with some good ol’ music knowledge and history

By: Alexandra Wattsayyzayn


Wednesday at 10:14 A.M.

Attempting to straighten my hair and my thoughts when I glance down and see the following from my friend Jeanne, an avid Zayn girl:



I knew it was true by the urgency in the all caps. Even though I’m not 1dAF as I used to be, I will always hold a special place in my heart for every single moment, milestone, and member of One Direction.

It has been interesting to browse the Internet throughout the week and reading perspectives ranging from emotional tweets, Buzzfeed-esque lists, pieces deciphering the dynamics of the band, and everybody’s contribution to the frenzy of 1/5 of One Direction departing.

As the host of an oldies show and someone with a love for the genre that shows when I will probably quote a Dusty Springfield lyric when you’re having love troubles,I had my own thoughts on Zayn. See, oldies music doesn’t just come in handy when you’re trying to impress your friends’ parents and figuring out samples in Kanye West songs, but using the history surrounding the genre comes in handy when trying to make sense of the boyband drama around you.

Below, here are some encouraging historical frames of reference for trying to find some optimism when dealing with a lack of Zayn in One Direction.

Solo careers are magical mystery tours and you should look forward to them:

Look at this George solo song. Zayn could be making something cool like this in the future.

Yes, you feel in love with One Direction as a cohesive quintet. However, there’s no denying that every member brings something to the band. Imagine how one member’s talent and style used to supplement the sound of One Direction will sound when it’s enhanced on a solo venture.

John, Paul, George, and Ringo all had solo careers, and all have them released good songs.

Diana Ross, Lou Reed, Gram Parsons, Cher, Paul Simon– so many musicians were introduced to us in popular bands. While we cherish these bands and their music, it’s a perfect historical example of transitioning into making more great music.

The music doesn’t have to end when the original formation of the band ends.

Those high notes paired with that R&B sound? Zayn is going to be just fine if he ever decides to release music solo.

 Remember, One Direction is still making music and you should stay tuned: 

The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Eagles, and The Beach Boys have all gone through members leaving and continued to stay in the studio.

 Think of how One Direction’s sound is going to change. It will be interesting to see how Zayn’s absence affects the sound of the band. One Direction has gone through sound changes through adding years, and the change through subtracting a member will be interesting.

 However, when the bands listed above went through changes with the members, the sound, or at least the perception of the band didn’t change necessarily a great amount. It’s not like The Rolling Stones went from being a rock band with Brian Jones to being juggalo-centric rap when he left (which would be impossible in the ‘60s, but you get the point.)

Reunion shows are actually reason enough to get excited:  

 From Fleetwood Mac to The Beach Boys, concerts that double as reunion shows are some of the greatest.

 The energy is great, the crowd is happy, and even though I wasn’t alive when Fleetwood Mac broke up originally, I felt a dose of nostalgic contentment when seeing the Rumours crew together on stage again.

 At the time of this writing, we aren’t even a week out from hearing the news of Zayn’s departure. So much information is probably coming out as I type and edit this piece, so planning a reunion show might be a premature thought.

 However, just because Zayn is gone for now, doesn’t mean he’s gone forever. Your original five can still get back together for as long as every member is still alive.

If Fleetwood Mac can get back together, anybody can.

 **ALSO: Michelle Phillips left The Mamas and the Papas for a short time, too. Just because somebody leaves a band doesn’t mean you have to wait for a reunion tour or induction to a hall of fame to ever see them perform and release music together again.

You = part of a historical music moment:

 Okay, so you probably don’t want to comfort a sad One Direction fan with, “It’s all going to be okay – YOU are a part of HISTORY in the MAKING.”

 But think about it. Years from now, somebody who is forced to take a music history course is going to be reading about One Direction and this event is definitely going be to a defining moment. Even if it doesn’t make the music history books, it’s a huge moment for One Direction, and you know years from now, a bunch of people are going to be writing think pieces examining this generation’s culture, and One Direction will be a significant part of it.

The incarnation of five young guys is no longer in its original state, which is the state we’ve collectively all been used to and grown to love. It’s okay to feel sad about it, but always feel free to refer to music history to give you a glimpse of hope. There are so many things I’d like to say in terms of Zayn leaving to comfort fans, but in the end, regardless of historical context or not, you’re going to be okay. One Direction is going to be okay. Zayn is going to be okay.

Years from now, you will be at a reunion show with your kids. You’re going to be explaining to them about the Wednesday morning you got a text from your friend that Zayn left the band. That sadness is going to come back for a moment, but it will soon subside once the lights go dark and you hear the opening sounds of “What Makes You Beautiful.” When Zayn’s part comes on, he’ll sing and everyone will scream like they did when they were younger. He’ll probably still have better hair and eyebrows than you, but the music will always be there, and even if One Direction never gets back together again, no breakup will ever stop the music.

It is so rare for any band to stay together forever in its familiar incarnation, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the end. It’s actually only the beginning. That sounds cheesy, I know.