WITH HEART IN OLD SOUL
It’s been a whirlwind ride for British soul sensation Sam Smith. Described by Katy Perry as “the male Adele”, Smith had a slew of hit collaborations before coming into his own with raw emotion
He’s one of 2014’s hardest-working musicians, earning three No.1 singles in his homeland and conquering radio stations across the globe with his collaborations.
So it’s no surprise that on his birthday UK soul singer Sam Smith is doing interviews.
“All my billboards are going up around London today so we’re going to all go and look at them and scream,” he says with a laugh.
Many would know Smith, 22, as the falsetto voice behind Disclosure’s huge dance hit of 2012, Latch.
The next year he was a guest on Naughty Boy’s La La La, which also became a dancefloor hit and mainstream radio breakthrough in Australia.
Twelve months on, Smith has revealed his true colours in an “old soul” record, In the Lonely Hour.
Before his appearance at next month’s Splendour In The Grass festival, hits Stay With Me and Lay Me Down are already the soundtracks for breakups and make-up across the country.
Smith agrees his formidable position has been a natural progression. “Me and my team have been growing in front of everyone and we still are and it feels natural and it feels great.”
The key to Smith’s success is the emotion his music conveys. There is an old soul in Smith’s voice reminiscent of Antony Hegarty, of Antony and the Johnsons. His friend Katy Perry tweeted last week that he is “the male Adele”.
Smith admits sometimes it is hard getting up night after night and performing these songs of unrequited love and conjuring up those emotions.
“I manage to do it every time but you know it’s hard to get myself in that mindset and sometimes I can’t, but it’s good. I think it’s healthy for me to revisit these things – even if it is to remind me to never go there again.”
Smith says the RnB of today is more rushed and less thoughtful than in the ’90s.
“There was a classic structure to music back then,” he explains. “There were verses and choruses and everything had more time put into it. I feel with everything – technology, clothes, fashion – everything has become so available so quick that we kind of rush things.
“It’s more about what people are wearing on their way to the studio than about what they’re creating in the studio.”
Smith started out working in a bar when he decided to head along to a session with two boys in a group called Disclosure.
“I had no idea – I had no idea who they were,” he admits.
“My first time I ever met them was the day that we wrote Latch. Thanks to them, they introduced me to a whole new world of music.
“My music knowledge at that time was very small and they taught me so much. It’s been a whirlwind since that day.” In The Lonely Hour is out now. Sam Smith, Splendour In The Grass, North Byron Parklands, July 27.
Chart-topping UK singer Sam Smith is performing at Splendour In The Grass.