"Pillowtalk" (styled as PILLOWTALK) is a song recorded by English singer and songwriter Zayn, for his debut solo studio album Mind of Mine. He co-wrote the track with Anthony Hannides, Michael Hannides, Joe Garrett, and its producer Levi Lennox. The song was released as the lead single from the album on 29 January 2016, along with its accompanying music video.
After signing a recording deal with RCA Records, Zayn gave several interviews with music magazines, such as The Fader and Billboard, to talk about his debut record. He stated "life experiences have been the influences for the album and just stuff that I've been through, especially in the last five years." He said the record will musically lean towards R&B, but will also have some tunes leaning towards R&B-rock or reggae. Zayn's solo debut album Mind of Mine is due to release on 25 March 2016. On 24 January 2016, Zayn revealed the release date and promotional cover-art of the lead single "Pillowtalk" through Twitter. It is Zayn's debut solo single after he left One Direction in 2015. Zayn wrote the song shortly after leaving the group, in collaboration with co-writers Mike and Anthony Hannides. Speaking about his new single with The Sunday Times, Zayn said that "Pillowtalk" was written about sex, which he described as "so pure, so dirty and raw," adding, "everybody has sex, and it’s something people wanna hear about. It’s part of everybody’s life, a very big part of life. And you don’t want to sweep it under the carpet." The song was inspired about and written shortly before he split from his ex-fiancé, Little Mix's Perrie Edwards. Subsequently "Pillowtalk" was made available for digital download in most countries worldwide via the iTunes Store on 29 January 2016.
An acoustic version of the track, "Pillowtalk", was released on 3 February 2016. On Snapchat, Zayn revealed a snippet of a "Pillowtalk" remix featuring American rapper Lil Wayne, which was later released as "Pillowtalk (Lil Wayne Remix)" for digital download on 25 February 2016; it is a hip hop remix with rapping by Lil Wayne along with rapping and rap-singing by Zayn. The original version of "Pillowtalk" has been included in the compilation album Now That's What I Call Music! 93.
"Pillowtalk" is a R&B slow jam, being the genre showcased in form of alternative R&B. Also described as a downtempo electronic, it features a smooth pop-R&B production, and heavy beats. According to music critics, the song represents a change from the mainly pop influences of his previous releases as a boyband member.
"Pillowtalk" was written in common time in the key of B major, with a moderate tempo of 126 beats per minute. The verses center around the chords of E major and F ♯ major, with the vocal melody in the verses being pentatonic. Zayn's vocal performance makes use of ad-libs, at points using triplets against the prevailing tempo. The song demonstrates Zayn's tenor vocal range, particularly with the chorus.
Its lyrics discuss the way that love and passion can turn abruptly into recklessness, described by The Guardian as a "theatrical interpretation of intimacy and romance." Zayn uses billowy vocals and buttery voice in the song. He goes from soft lines in the pre-chorus, "I love to wake up next to you," to explicit content in the chorus: "in the bed all day / fucking and fighting on / It's a paradise and it's a war zone;" he sings about the pain that comes with being lovers.
"Pillowtalk (The living room session)" features Malik's vocals with an acoustic guitar backing. "Pillowtalk (Lil Wayne Remix)" is a hip hop remix that features rapping by Lil Wayne as well as rapping and rap-singing by Zayn, while the beats and melody have also been reworked to a hip hop style.
Directed by Bouha Kazmi, the accompanying music video for "Pillowtalk" premiered on YouTube on 29 January 2016. Gigi Hadid and Zayn appear in the clip, which features retro graphics, kaleidoscopic and shattered-mirror effects. The music video finds Zayn navigating a sexual fantasia, with a flower covering a mysterious woman's genitals and female silhouettes ogling each other, the former played by actress Jodie Turner-Smith. Hadid appears swirling around the singer, hypnotises him and eventually provokes technicolour tears. They navigate a kaleidoscopic dreamscape, where they make out, make up and cry black tears as Zayn sings. File Hashes