The 22-year-old singer confided in the 28-year-old former JLS star about leaving the band while on a trip to Las Vegas last September.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Oritse said: "Zayn spoke to me when we were together in Vegas last year. Niall (Horan) did too. Zayn was talking to me in confidence. I told him he had a great run and to enjoy it. They are very, very blessed guys.
"It's a very special thing and not a lot of artists show gratitude for that. But I told him to be himself and to keep going."
Zayn quit One Direction last month to go solo and return to being a "normal 22 year old", however, he's reportedly in talks with Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha to star in a Bollywood movie.
Earlier this week, Gurinder said: "We've met and spoken. He trained as an actor first then became part of the band. So I think what he'll be doing is staying true to his heart - and that's all you can ever do."
However, Gurinder - who is currently working on a Bollywood-inspired Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical - insists she doesn't have a role planned out for the star "just yet".
She explained: "I don't have a part in mind for Zayn just yet but hopefully in the future.
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