Zayn Malik insists he has finally beaten the confidence problems that have blighted his solo career.

The former One Direction star released his debut album in 2016 to positive reviews, but was unable to tour in support of the record as he was overwhelmed with anxiety about performing live.

Despite suffering recent heartbreak as he split from supermodel Gigi Hadid last month (Mar18), he says he's now put his personal issues behind him.

"I think my confidence has grown," Zayn tells BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw. "The last year and a half I've been working on a lot of personal issues.

"Me leaving the band and I didn't know what I wanted. I released the album I wasn't being prominent as I wanted to be. I'm a lot more confident now and I'm looking forward to the fans hearing it."

Although he's struggled with the pressures of fame, the Pillowtalk singer, 25, says he's delighted fans have embraced him as a solo star following his departure from One Direction.

"It's... humbling," he explains. 'People who don't know you personally but have a strong connection to it (the music)."

The star's international success and relationship with the U.S. based model resulted in him moving from his native U.K. to the other side of the Atlantic, and he says he misses the comforts of his hometown of Bradford, England.

"You can take the boy out of Bradford but you can't take the Bradford out of the boy," Zayn muses. "I miss the food and I miss the atmosphere and the banter. Sarcasm don't go down too well in the States, but they're coming around to it."

Having dealt with his personal problems, the singer is now gearing up for the release of his second album, and debuts its lead single Let Me on Thursday (12Apr18).

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