A day after the 22-year-old singer announced his departure from the group, Malik spoke to The Sun about the "interesting" after taste the experience left him with.
"It is crazy and wild and a bit mad," he told the publication Thursday. "But at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life. And I feel like I'm doing what's right -- right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good."
Malik also dismissed rumors that he left because of tension with bandmates Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan, and said his fiancee Perrie Edwards was "very supportive" of his decision. Malik quit the One Direction tour days before leaving the band amid rumors that he had cheated on Perrie.
After admitting that he'd been wanting to leave the band for a while, but didn't "for the sake of other people's happiness," Malick added he's sorry that he let his fans down.
"But I can't do this anymore," he said, adding, "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not the real me."
Malik, Tomlinson, Payne, Styles and Horan formed One Direction in 2010, and released the fourth album in November 2014. The remaining members will continue to perform as a foursome.