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ZAYN ROMANCES RADIO

Zayn Malik’s first solo salvo, “Pillowtalk” (RCA), hitting Friday (1/29), is earning a strongly enthusiastic response at radio, with early commitments in numerous major markets, including New York, L.A., Chicago and San Francisco.

The former One Directioner has an enormous fanbase, with 17.4 million Twitter followers and 19.4m Facebook likes. And of course 1D’s even more colossal following will have to check him out.

The record is launching in the U.K. with a BBC Radio 1 interview with presenter Matt Edmondson, titled “Cushionchat” in honor of the track. #Cushionchat became a trending topic in Blighty.

As a member of the gargantuan British group, Malik helped 1D reach staggering earnings. Their 2014-15 world tour reportedly grossed $290m, including three sellouts of the Rose Bowl. Malik’s last two albums with the group, Midnight Memories and Four, sold 4m and 3.2m U.S. respectively. The band’s first four albums bowed at #1 and they earned four VMAs, seven AMAs, 19 Teen Choice Awards and various other trophies, not to mention close to 1 billion ear-splitting girl screams.

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