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Former One Direction member Zayn Malik has given his first interview as a solo artist, discusses his new music and reasons for quitting One Direction at length.

"A big part of why I left the band is I made the realization that it wasn't actually about [being the biggest] anymore," he told Fader about quitting earlier this year. "It wasn't about the amount of tickets sales that I get. It was more about the people that I reach. I want to reach them in the right way, and I want them to believe what I'm saying. I've done enough in terms of financial backing for me to live comfortably. I just want to make music now."

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When speaking about One Direction's music, Malik noted that he felt restrained creatively within the band, unable to flex his desires to veer towards a more R&B sound. "If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as fuck, so they could use that version," he revealed. "I wasn't 100 percent behind the music. It wasn't me. It was music that was already given to us, and we were told this is what is going to sell to these people. As much as we were the biggest, most famous boy band in the world, it felt weird. We were told to be happy about something that we weren't happy about."

Malik, who has been working with Frank Ocean's producer Malay on his as-yet-untitled solo debut, made clear that he was not a huge fan of his former group's sound, which has been veering more towards classic rock and folk influences over the past few albums. "That's not music I would listen to," he says of the boy band. "Would you listen to One Direction at a party with your girl? I wouldn't. To me, that's not an insult, that's me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that's not music that I would listen to. I want to make music that I think is cool shit. I don't think that's too much to ask for."

In an accompanying video with the cover story, Malik previews new song "Befour," with the track suggesting a hazy, Weeknd-influenced R&B sound. He describes the album as diverse, sending the writer a letter that doubles as the album's mission statement following their interview. "I can map every lyric and every note to mean something to me," he wrote about his solo debut. "It's a snapshot of my life and the thoughts on my life, my hopes, my aspirations, and my regrets in the summer of 2015."

Last Friday, One Direction released their fifth album, Made in the A.M. Malik has yet to reveal when his first single or full album will debut.




Melissa Etheridge has just released her 12th collection of new material This Is M.E. – and for someone who has such a body of work, isn’t as well known in the UK as in her native America.

“I have yet to really break this market. I think you all kind of know me, you’re aware of me, yet maybe you haven’t really listened and caught on. I think this album is an opportunity for me to finally come into Great Britain and find a place here.”

It’s her first independent album and there’s quite a different feel to those that have gone before. She’s teamed up with other writers including Jerrod Bettis (who has worked with Adele and One Republic), Jerry Wonda (Grammy Award-winning producer of the Fugees, and Mary J Blige) as well as Usher and Chris Brown collaborator, Roccstar.

“This is the music that I love. There’s more R&B and soulful feeling on it because that’s always been inside of me and I think rock’n’roll and soul and R&B are brother and sister and those collaborations are probably my favourite.”

Many of Melissa’s lyrics have been described as “confessional” and there’s more of that on This Is M.E.

“That sort of music always seemed to be the path I wanted to take. In the 70s listening to the singer/songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, these artists that seemed to be writing from their personal experience. That to me was the writers’ way. That was the journey I wanted to take. I wanted to live life and 
write about it and be fully in it and that’s always where my songs have come from.”

Melissa’s trademark of a catchy hook is something that continues to be a key part of her music.

“I love writing a melody that you can sing along to. Lyrics are very important that there’s a story, that there’s a meaning to it so all of those are together on this album. I feel it’s representational of where I am right now. Musically I love doing those songs live and they sit right next to my classics that I will always do.”

Etheridge will be back in the UK on the 27th April, for a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London.
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                    BOSE MUSIC

Pros
Size-defying audio performance
Integrated CD player & DAB radio
Cons
Warm, bass rich sound neglects higher frequencies
Eye watering expensive compared to the competition
iPod dock (£130), Bluetooth (£130), Multi-CD changer (£130) optional extras
Review Price £599.95


Key Features: Bose Waveguide speaker technology ; CD player & DAB radio; Sleep alarm; BoseLink adds peripherals
Manufacturer: Bose

How much do you like CDs? This may sound a strange question to ask in 2012, but when considering Bose's high end yet deliberately retro take on the modern music system it is one that is impossible to ignore.

Bose product refreshes are rare and for that reason alone the 'Wave Music System III' arrives with a significant amount of buzz and media attention. Its modus operandi: a one piece system to play your CDs, the radio and wake you up in the morning… for £600. For most companies this feature/price ratio would be unworkable, but Bose has built its reputation on attracting those who want the very best and are prepared to pay for it. So does the Wave Music System III still have a place in the Android/iOS centric world of today?

​Certainly Bose knows how to make an entrance. The Wave Music System III is beautifully packed and at just 369 x 219 x 106mm and 3.9Kg it is compact. Being a stickler for its own tradition (the Wave range has been around since 2004) the design hasn't changed from its predecessor. This is both good and bad. The Wave line's looks are iconic amongst Bose fans (if reminiscent of a blend of school projector and laser printer), but the 100 per cent plastic construction could do with the addition of more premium materials in this era of designer docks.

Bose Wave Music System III 4

There is also little change at the rear with virtually identical connectivity: an FM antenna, auxiliary and headphone inputs and a BoseLink connector. The notable addition this time around is that of a DAB tuner and accompanying antenna while Bose also claims to have improved the quality of the FM/AM tuner. The proprietary BoseLink is where additional functionality is added with the 'Wave Bluetooth' (£130), 'Wave Connect Kit' (£130) and 'Wave Multi-CD Changer' (£300) adding Bluetooth streaming, an iPod/iPhone dock and a three CD multi-changer respectively.

On top of this the Wave Music System III has had a tweak of the display so artist and song title metadata is displayed, and about time too. Operation is almost entirely confined to the remote with the touch sensitive top of the unit only switching it on and off. This isn't a big deal though as the remote, while again being a little too fond of plastic, is relatively easy to use thanks to its clearly labelled and logically laid out buttons, though the uniform grid pattern isn't all that practical to use in the dark.

There is also little change at the rear with virtually identical connectivity: an FM antenna, auxiliary and headphone inputs and a BoseLink connector. The notable addition this time around is that of a DAB tuner and accompanying antenna while Bose also claims to have improved the quality of the FM/AM tuner. The proprietary BoseLink is where additional functionality is added with the 'Wave Bluetooth' (£130), 'Wave Connect Kit' (£130) and 'Wave Multi-CD Changer' (£300) adding Bluetooth streaming, an iPod/iPhone dock and a three CD multi-changer respectively.

On top of this the Wave Music System III has had a tweak of the display so artist and song title metadata is displayed, and about time too. Operation is almost entirely confined to the remote with the touch sensitive top of the unit only switching it on and off. This isn't a big deal though as the remote, while again being a little too fond of plastic, is relatively easy to use thanks to its clearly labelled and logically laid out buttons, though the uniform grid pattern isn't all that practical to use in the dark.



Bose Wave Music System III 3

As ever Bose remains hugely secretive of the audio tech inside. According to the blurb, the 'waveguide speaker technology enables full-bodied sound, especially in lower registers, for more natural-sounding bass and percussion instruments' but that is all we get. It has long been this way. What we do know, as the image on the next page illustrates, is Bose sticks to its usual habits of a 2.0 arrangement with bass reflex technology, with its signature warm sound created by bouncing the lower frequencies off an almost intestinal maze designed to filter the signal.

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