solo star, sam smith
Believe it or not, new artists don’t just suddenly emerge from the fringes of pop hopefuldom at the beginning of each year. We'll be interviewing ten bloody brilliant new music stars over the next two weeks so keep one eye open! First up? Sam Smith...
Photography Nick Dorey. Styling Hanna Kelifa. Sam wears jacket Leigh. Jumper Markus Lupfer. Jeans Edwin. Jewellery Sam’S own. Shoes Underground.
Sam Smith is tall. Like unheard of tall for a pop star. Like, 6'4" tall. But 6'4" tall is not tall enough for Sam Smith. "I'd be just under 7ft if I could," sighs the 21-year-old singer. Smith, who not only recently did the double of BRIT's Critics Choice and BBC Sound Poll 2014, but has of course featured on Disclosure's Latch, Naughty Boy's La La La and the Disclosure, Jimmy Napes and Nile Rodgers collabo, Together. But if 2013 was the year of the feature, then 2014 is the year of Sam Smith the solo star.
My career highlight? Calling my mum and dad and telling them I had a Brit. They cried on the phone.
Warming up with the Two Inch Punch produced Money On My Mind, which will be followed by his solo album, In The Lonely Hour this summer, the bequiffed singer promises that we'll fall head over heels with his lyrics that focus on unrequited love. "It's not something I've really heard many people sing about before," says the Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and Destiny's Child fan. "There's odd songs here and there that talk about that but I've not seen a body of work that focuses on that emotion. I believe that that form of love is just as powerful as the good kind - if not more. It's not like you'll listen to my album and want to slit your wrists," he adds quickly with a grin. "There are also happy songs because I'm quite a positive person." Smith's debut features everyone from Eg White (Adele), to Fraser T Smith (Lily Allen), Disclosure, Tourist, Jimmy Napes and Zane Lowe and will, he hopes, see a return form for the male of the songwriting species. "I want to bring back the men - that male diva. Not in personality, but in voice." Outside of music, Smith has one hope for 2014. "I hope I fall in love," he grins sheepishly. "That would be quite nice."
Where are you from?
I live really hard.
I love Boy George. I was influenced a lot by him, and George Michael when he wore the cross earrings and the blazers. I just love anyone that has an identity.
In The Lonely Hour is out in May.
Text Hattie Collins
Photography Nick Dorey
Styling Hanna Kelifa