Here we go. Taylor Swift‘s new single, ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘, invited eye-rolling and ‘YAAAS QUEEN’-ing in equal measure. That was unusual in and of itself, because usually Taylor’s music is like Bill Murray‘s movies: liked by everyone, but some more than others. No one hates it, you know?

But a lot of people hated LWYMMD. Like, really, really hated it. And a lot of people hate Taylor Swift herself, finding her brand of white girl feminism pretty much irrelevant in the highly charged political landscape of 2016 and beyond – not a good look when you’ve capitalised on feminism itself.

And there was a lot of speculation that this hated went the other way. A shot of Taylor from her LWYMMD video, wearing a t-shirt with the signatures of some (but not all) of her famous friends, prompted many to wonder who had been dumped from the infamous squad.

Zayn Malik Defends Taylor Swift From Her Oodles Of Critics In New Interview

(FWIW, the full list of names on that tee-shirt are: Alana [Haim], Danielle [Haim], Este [Haim], Lena [Dunham], Ed [Sheeran], Blake [Lively] & Ryan [Reynolds], Selena [Gomez], Todrick [Hall], Gigi [Hadid], Patrick [Stewart], Abigail [Anderson], Claire [Kislinger], Lily [Aldridge] and Martha [Hunt].)

Well, in the onslaught of criticism, Taylor has found herself another defender: Zayn Malik, former One Directioner and boyfriend to TS bestie Gigi Hadid.

The singer answered 25 questions for Fader, and after explaining why he avoided the MTV VMAs despite winning a Moon Person for his duet with T-Swift, ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever‘ (he was in the studio), he defended the singer from her critics.

#idontwannaliveforever

A post shared by Zayn Malik (@zayn) on

“I rate her as an artist, I think she’s cool, I think she’s successful, and I think she deserves her success because she’s worked hard. That’s just how I look at it. I did a song with her, it was fun, she was professional. She gets on with my girlfriend, they’re good friends. I don’t have a bad word to say about her. She’s cool.”

 

He also answered the all-time question of when he would come to Brazil. (This is what happens when you crowd-source questions on Twitter.)

“I love Brazil. Hopefully as soon as possible.”

 Come to Brazil sweetie.
Read the full interview over at Fader.
Image: Getty Images / Kevin Winters