His voice, falling somewhere between the delicate croon of Antony Hegarty and coquettish purr of Robin Thicke, has won the affections of fans near and far, garnering him the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award as well as a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. Odds are you’ve heard it on Disclosure’s catchy single “Latch,” which heated up the charts late last year.
On the eve of the release of his debut album In the Lonely Hour, British singer-songwriter Sam Smith has opened up about the inspiration behind his heartwrenching music to writer Jessica Robertson in an exclusive interview with The FADER.
In the issue, hitting newsstands in early July, the 22-year-old Smith discussed his recent brush with first love, and how his debut LP “is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back.” “I’ve never been in a relationship before,” Smith told The FADER. “I’ve only been in unrequited relationships where people haven’t loved me back. I guess I’m a little bit attracted to that in a bad way. In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn’t felt love before. I’ve felt the bad things. And what’s a more powerful emotion: pain or happiness?”
Smith, who grew up idolizing the late Amy Winehouse, also touched on how he’s totally cool with being open and honest about his sexuality and who he loves.
“I am comfortable with myself, and my life is amazing in that respect,” said Smith. “I’m very comfortable and happy with everything. I just wanted to talk about him and have it out there. It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know—I want to be clear that that’s what it’s about. I’ve been treated as normal as anyone in my life; I’ve had no issues. I do know that some people have issues in life, but I haven’t, and it’s as normal as my right arm. I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue. People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions. I’ve tried to be clever with this album, because it’s also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody—whether it’s a guy, a female or a goat—and everybody can relate to that. I’m not in this industry to talk about my personal life unless it’s in a musical form.”
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