The 22-year-old singer - who spectacularly quit the chart-topping band last month - was presented with an honour for his Outstanding Contribution to Music by pal and collaborator Naughty Boy yesterday evening (17.04.15).
Collecting the award, Zayn - who showed off his newly shaved head - told the audience he was "not really a guy of many words" and said his bandmates - Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne - were usually the ones to make these type of speeches at such events.
He added: "I'd also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys that I ever met whilst being in the band and doing all the amazing things that I did.
"Some of the things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Zayn - who is engaged to Little Mix star Perrie Edwards - departed the group last month to lead a more "normal" life outside the spotlight.
Since quitting, he has been seen in the studio with music producer Naughty Boy, fuelling speculation he is working on his own solo material.
A track, 'I Won't Mind', posted by the 'La La La' hitmaker was thought to have been Zayn's first solo work but it was later revealed the song was from his days in One Direction and was rejected from the band's most recent studio album 'Four'.
See more images of Zayn Malik's new look in the gallery below.