March 17, 2016
Zayn Malik, James Ho, Harold Lilly, Terrence "Scar" Smith
Lyrically, "Befour" addresses both his past and his detractors at the same time, including his past as a working class teenager in Bradford (which the music video is based on), his former band, and the scrutiny of his detractors.
"Befour" was released on March 17, 2016, as the second promotional single. According to Ho, "Befour" was conceived when he and Malik were in the VIP area of a Las Vegas club where Big Sean was performing in August 2015, and Malik said, "It's crazy being here in Vegas. I’ve literally been all over the world with One Direction. I’ve done this before, but not like this. Not by myself, not this way, not here with the intention of working on my own music". The track was also previously used as background music for Zayn Malik's The Fader Cover Star video in November 2015.
The music video for "Befour" was released on March 25, 2016. The video was shot in Manchester's Miles Plattingdistrict, and dramatises what Malik's working class teenage life was like in Northern England, including scenes at a boxing club (Malik used to do boxing before his music career), restaurant/pool hall, barber shop, parking lot, and fish and chips shop.
|Released||March 25, 2016|
|Location||Manchester's Miles Platting District|
|VEVO views||39,663,183 (as of March 24, 2017)|
"Befour" was described by Rolling Stone as "smooth R&B" and NME described it as an "R&B ballad". Music Times said it combines R&B, synthpop, and soul, and AXS said it uses "tribal percussion and ringing synths". AXS calls it an "experimental and assertive slice of R&B" with "personal lyrics addressing his past and detractors all at once." New Statesman says it is "tightly-constructed and slickly-produced" and includes one of Malik's vocal hallmarks, a "long and impossibly high note." Billboard states that "Zayn channels his inner Justin Timberlake" with the song.
It was listed as one of the best songs of the week by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and Rolling Stone. It debuted at number 85 on the UK Singles Chart and number 16 on the UK R&B Chart. It reached number 28 on the UK TV Airplay Chart. As of August 2016, the music video has received more than 32 million views on YouTube.
- ↑ Review: Zayn feels himself as a solo star in confident cut 'Befour'
- ↑ Zayn Malik: House of Zayn - The Full NME Cover Interview
- ↑ ‘Mind of Mine’ Solidifies Zayn as Our Most Unlikely Pop Star
- ↑ Zayn surpasses One Direction on debut album
- ↑ Zayn Releases New Slow Jam 'BeFoUr'
- ↑ Inside the making of Zayn Malik's debut album, Mind of Mine
- ↑ Hear Zayn Malik's Smooth R&B Song 'Befour'
- ↑ Zayn Malik - FADER Cover Star
- ↑ See a Day in the Life of Zayn in 'BeFoUr' Music Video
- ↑ Where Does Zayn Malik's "BeFoUr" Music Video Take Place? It May Feature Some Of His Old Haunts
- ↑ Best Songs of the Week: Zayn, Empress Of, ILoveMakonnen, and more
- ↑ Songs We Love: Zayn, 'BeFoUr'
- ↑ Our Favorite Songs Right Now: Zayn Malik, Sturgill Simpson and More