Moving on up
From Grammys to Oscars, Sam Smith is reaching new heights.
THOUGH Sam Smith has mingled with Hollywood’s elite thanks to the success of Writing’s On The Wall – the Oscar- winning, Golden Globe- winning James Bond theme song – he feels like the glitz is just a bonus.
It was getting the OK to do the song that remains close to his heart.
“I don’t think very much of myself most of the time, but when ( they) ask you to have a go at that, I was just like, ‘ I can’t believe they’ve asked me’,” Smith recalled.
“People ask if I was scared and I genuinely wasn’t. ... I think maybe because in the back of my head I was thinking it maybe wasn’t going to happen and just getting the chance to do it was amazing because I know there were other people pitching songs.”
At 23, Smith is one of the youngest acts to win the Oscars for Best Original Song. ( His competition included Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, David Lang and J. Ralph.)
It took just a day to pen the song, which he wrote with his Stay With Me collaborator Jimmy Napes, he said. “And then the strings took six months; the production took ,” S ith ad ed
How does it feel to be an Oscar nominee and now a winner?
All the awards are just a huge bonus and I just find it fascinating, getting to see all these actors and sitting near Leonardo DiCaprio at lunches and ( stuff ) like that.
Did it feel extra special doing a Bond theme song since you are British?
It feels like the ultimate film song. ... It was on my bucket list as my ultimate dream.
Was it different writing
compared to your album songs?
It was and it wasn’t. I worked with Jimmy Napes so it was actually the same. In terms of the content, lyrically, yes. We read the script and I purposely wanted to make this song really vulnerable ... that’s what I am as an artiste and it’s what I do and how I speak and I didn’t want to have to change that. I wanted it to be a Sam SmithBond song.
What’s it like competing with Lady Gaga for Best Original Song?
I’m just honoured honestl standing next to he so wa . and I queued to watch Lady Gaga sing when I was 17 years old overnight in London. And I just keep going back to that moment: That was me in that ( expletive) queue and now I’m standing next to her being nominated. ... It’s very, very surreal. ... She is, to me, the definition of an entertainer.
At the Golden Globes, you seemed really surprised when you won.
Me and Jimmy, we came to LA two days before; I think we were drunk permanently for four days. Normally I’m insanely professional and I’m like “don’t drink” and I’m all prepared and fresh.
I was like, “We are not winning this. Let’s just have fun and enjoy this moment and have fun with it.”
I genuinely had no idea. I just couldn’t believe it. I think I was just drunk all night ( laughs).
Are going to the film awards shows different than the music ones?
It’s very different. I don’t know if I’m wrong in saying this but it feels more elite, if that’s the word. It feels more like, “Wow.” And also, do you know what it is? It’s kinder. That’s what I found. It was a kinder atmosphere. I felt like all the actors knew each other and worked with each other in the past, and it was just a nicer atmosphere; just a lot friendlier.
Not to say that the Grammys aren’t friendly, but everyone was like sitting around the table, having a drink, chatting to each other; whereas the Grammys are very n- and- out, and
’ e like sit- for a bit and then going in and then sitting there.
What was it like returning to the Grammys this month after winning big last year?
It’s strange. I feel more together for sure. I feel like I got my head on my shoulders a bit. This time last year would have been after the Grammys – it was actually one of my darkest moments actually.
The Grammys were the happiest I’ve been, and then straight after I went into a pit of sadness for a bit. So, yeah, I feel a lot better now.
Why were you sad?
I’m a melancholy person, so I feel like when you go through a happy moment that incredible, then afterward the only way is down a little bit. I was just going throu h a
The original and hudgens. — AP
stars ( from left) Bleu, Coleman, Efron, Tisdale
Napes ( left) and smith won the Oscar for Best Original song for