Zayn Malik has insisted that he "didn't jump on the bandwagon" with his upcoming country album Room Under the Stairs.

The singer-songwriter has explained how his forthcoming fourth studio album came about.

"I was pretty much on my farm having a glass of whiskey and listening to a bit of (Chris) Stapleton by the fire with my dog, playing guitar," Zayn, 31, said of what inspired him to release a country album in a new interview with Nylon.

The former One Direction star noted that while he's "proud" of the album, he doesn't want to be compared to artists like Post Malone and Beyoncé, who have both recently ventured into the country music industry.

"People need to know I didn't jump on the bandwagon," he told the publication.

Zayn continued, "People are in search of a little bit more depth from the lyrics. In the Top 40 charts, a lot of mainstream music feels a bit wishy-washy. The songs are f**king fire. You know what I mean? They're catchy. They're playing on the radio and they do their job, but people are looking for a little bit more."

The Pillowtalk hitmaker then revealed he was inspired by country music stars Stapleton and Willie Nelson.

"I could really hear their lyrics and their pain and their growth and the life lessons," he said. "I didn't feel like there was a Chris Stapleton song that comes on and he sounds like a f**kboy, right? He doesn't do it! He's not out here saying, 'B**ches in the club! We're drinking Bacardi!' Or whatever these young kids use now. He's not like that. He's got class, right? He's telling you a real grown man's story. And I respected the f**k out of it. I was like, 'This is cool. It's something I can do.'"

Room Under the Stairs, which consists of 15 tracks, will be released on Friday.