Zayn Malik "understands" the pressures of fame.
The 'Pillowtalk' hitmaker insists he has "kept a little bit of [his] sanity" throughout his music career and claims he is labelled as mysterious because he didn't want to get caught up in the hype of fame.
He said: "I've kept a little bit of my sanity. I understand how the media works. Journos gotta earn their money. Paps have got to earn their money."
When asked if he had discovered this in the first few months of his career, he added to NME magazine: "I think so. I think that's why it came across as being mysterious or detached. I just didn't want to get caught up in something that wasn't real.
"You can be the biggest band in the world for a certain time, but that ends. I'm not saying that [I knew at the beginning]. But if I did ... then f**k me, I've got a great brain."
Meanwhile, the former One Direction star previously admitted he considers himself to be a "s**t celebrity all round".
He shared: "I'm a pretty s**t celebrity all around. But when it comes to TV, that's the worst. I hate the whole setup. When it's interviews like this, I don't mind. I'm just talking to a normal person. It's when you are fully glammed up and you're sitting with a hundred lights in your face and someone is asking you questions in front of a crowd of people - that's when it becomes a bit strange for me.
"I'm not a public speaker. I'm a singer. Those two things are very different in my brain. I'm not an extrovert in everyday life. I'm a performer. When it comes to stage I can sing and do that, but when I'm in normal-day life I'm very reserved. I guess that's my downfall."