Zayn Malik is getting the next step in his career under way with the news that he’s signed a solo recording deal with the major label RCA, announcing in the process that he intends to make “#realmusic’.

On Wednesday (July 29th), Billboard revealed that the 22 year old ex-One Directioner has also signed up with management company Turn First, who also look after Iggy Azalea, and will be working with R&B producer Malay, somebody who has worked with the likes of John Legend and Frank Ocean.

Zayn MalikZayn Malik is going it alone with RCA

Posting a photo of himself signing the deal, Malik also tweeted the same day: “I guess I never explained why I left, it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am.” The news above suggests he’ll be going in a more adult direction than the pure pop of his former group.

More: Zayn Malik decided by himself to quit 1D, says Perrie Edwards

When Zayn left 1D and broke the heart of millions of teenage fans back in March, he cited the exhaustion of the band’s relentless touring schedule, plus the desire to be “a normal 22 year old” and spend time with his fiancée Perrie Edwards.

In the aftermath of that decision, it was assumed that he would be making music with his friend Naughty Boy, but their association seems to have come to an acrimonious end with a Twitter feud earlier this month, with Malik slamming him by saying “you fat joke stop pretending we’re friend no one knows you”.

Simon Cowell, from whose Syco record label Zayn was dropped after his departure from 1D, tweeted a message of congratulations to the young star. “We have been working on this for a while and I am pleased to say congratulations to @Zaynmalik on signing with @RCARecords,” the mogul said, even though he’s passed up the opportunity to launch his solo career. However, none of the rest of the group have reacted to the news yet…

More: Zayn Malik says he was just “defending himself” as One Direction Twitter feud heats up