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Intermission: Flower (stylized as INTERMISSION: fLoWeR) is a song by Zayn Malik. It appears as the seventh track on his first studio album Mind of Mine.

It is a Qawwali Urdu song and was inspired by Zayn's upbringing as a British Pakistani Muslim.

Background

"Flower" is an experimental interlude, in the form of a spiritual,Pakistani Qawwali ghazal that Zayn sings in Urdu, his father's native language, backed by Ho's folk-style acoustic guitar playing[1] and atmospheric sounds resembling a thick mist.[2][3]

Qawwali is a form of devotional Sufi music associated with Islamic culture,[4] and Malik used Qawwali vocal techniques for the track, including vocal elisions, warbling,[5] and "deeply centered but controlled fervor".

"Flower" was influenced by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose music his father used to play in his home.[6] Referencing the recording, James Ho stated that Malik "knows how to sing like that and he’s always been able to do it, but he just never took it that seriously" until one day he "just picked up the mic and tracked that whole thing basically live, in one take."

Ho said he “was just blown away" and "didn’t know he could sing like that," and that "he told me he was in a super spiritual place, and that the saying is something one of his family members had told him that had always stuck to him."[7] Ho said the session was like jazz "where a singer will have a concept or a melody and then the rest of it is just improv."

Malik's dad inspired the song . Zayn credits his father with introducing him to music like Prince, Bob Marley, and the Notorious B.I.G. “When I was little, I think it was a bit of a mission of his to turn me on to ’90s hip-hop,” Zayn writes. “It got into my blood really young.”

Lyrics

[Urdu]
جب تک اس محبت کا پھول نہ کھلے؛
تب تک اس دل کو سکون نہ ملے

دل دے ہے مجھے
دل دے ہے مجھے
دل دے ہے مجھے

[Romanized]
Jab tak is mohabbat ka phool na khilay
Tab tak is dill ko sukoon na miley
Dil day mujhe,
Dil day mujhe,
Dil day mujhe

[English Translation]
Until the flower of this love has blossomed
This heart won't be at peace
Give me your heart,
Give me your heart,
Give me your heart

Lyric Video

ZAYN - INTERMISSION- fLoWer (Lyric Video)

ZAYN - INTERMISSION- fLoWer (Lyric Video)

Reception

While viewing the Qawwali-style "Flower" as being culturally relevant in light of recent events, Andy Gill of The Independent stated that "the brief track’s beauty" has the potential to open people's "hearts to the broader aesthetic possibilities of cultures outside their usual experience."[8] Michael Cuby of Flavorwire said that "It’s a loving, open embrace of selfhood led by the display of something that only hecould execute properly, an outward appreciation of that which makes him unique."[9]

References