The best-selling debut album in the UK last year came as a surprise to many - mostly because it was by a man who is not even known for his vocal prowess.
One man who also took great pleasure in that fact was Simon Cowell, who no doubt is still smarting from Malik's refusal to sign with his Syco record label, instead signing to RCA.
According to Walsh, Cowell congratulated him on his success - as did Malik's former 1D bandmate Niall Horan. "Niall Horan was sending me messages, laughing his head off," he told The Guardian. "And I got big congratulations from Simon Cowell. He thoroughly enjoyed it."