Zayn Malik has just announced the release of his fourth studio album, titled Room Under The Stairs, and has given fans their first glimpse of the album with the single “What I Am.”

As the lead single, “What I Am” showcases Malik’s vocals amidst a backdrop of stripped-down guitar melodies, signaling a departure from his previous musical ventures. The former One Direction member made waves on social media the other day (March 13) with the exciting reveal of his forthcoming album set to drop on May 17. Marking his fourth solo endeavor, this highly anticipated record will be his debut under the Mercury Records banner, joining the esteemed ranks of Noah Kahan and Post Malone, among others.

According to his label, Malik has been working on the album for the past six years at his home studio in rural Pennsylvania. The 31-year-old singer also released a full statement on the forthcoming record, stating “This is my favorite album that I’ve made to date, mainly because it comes from a place of sheer honesty and vulnerability. I wanted each song to feel as if it was just me sitting beside you telling you how I feel, singing directly to you. It’s raw and stripped back and the type of music I always hoped to make.”

“Working with Dave Cobb has been an amazing experience,” he continues. “The way he’s elevated the music is second to none, and he has done an incredible job helping me create this record. I hope we can take listeners on some whimsical, magical journey, and that they enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.“I think just being where I was at that time, staying away from things, and living with my own thoughts inspired me to want to write something from that place. I’ve got to put this out as a whole body of work, it’s something for myself, not even just for the world.”

Building anticipation for the album, Zayn recently shared insights into its thematic core, expressing his desire for listeners to delve deeper into his personal journey. In a candid teaser posted to his Instagram earlier this month, he revealed, “I think the intention behind this album fully is for the listener to get more insight on me personally as a human being. My ambitions, my fears, for them to have a connection with that, and that’s why it’s so raw.”

The upcoming album follows three years past the release of his albums Nobody Is Listening (2021), Icarus Falls (2018), and his chart-breaking debut album Mind Of Mine (2016).

Zayn Malik’s Room Under The Stairs arrives this May 17, but feel free to listen to “What I Am” in its full glory below: