Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
1 Dec 2014
6:00 pm

Unrequited love: Sam Smith’s secret

Genevieve Vieira

If you haven't heard of Sam Smith, you've been living under a big rock.

Sam Smith. Picture: Facebook

The British singer-songwriter – full name Samuel Frederick Smith – began paving his way to fame when he featured on Disclosure’s breakthrough single Latch, followed by Naughty Boy’s La La La.

It was, however, the release of his own single, Lay Me Down, that propelled him to stardom.

However, despite appearing to be the archetypal overnight success, Smith has an extended history in the industry and started singing when he was only eight years old.

“My parents took me to singing lessons with a local jazz singer, Johanna Eden, and I’ve been singing ever since. It’s become second nature,” he says.

Known for his covers of world-renowned divas – his falsetto lending itself to the genre – Smith admits he grew up listening mainly to female vocalists.

DEBUT. Sam Smith's album In The Lonely Hour is available now. Picture: Facebook

DEBUT. Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour is available now. Picture: Facebook

As a youngster he listened to the likes of Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Etta James – all extremely powerful voices.

An alumnus of the Youth Music Theatre UK, he has featured in a number of theatrical performances.

“I always knew music would be a career for me,” he says. “It was the only thing I was good at in school. I remember sitting in a career expert’s office and the woman was, like: ‘So what are you going to do next?’ and I said: ‘I’m going to move to London and become a singer.’ She almost had a heart attack. My mom and dad never questioned it though.”

With the support of his parents Smith went on to achieve his goal, exceeding even his own expectations.

“People tell me I’ve got to stay grounded,” he says, “but my mom and dad put me in my place. They panic all the time; they’re amazing parents. They’ll never let me get big-headed.”

Smith recently released his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, a tell-tale of a flourishing career. Like most pop stars, he sings about romantic love, but Smith admits he’s never been in a relationship.

“I’ve spent my whole life listening to songs that talk about relationships and I could never relate to them. So I wanted to write an album that spoke about unrequited love.

“I normally have to go through something depressing or sad to write incredible lyrics.

“Every song on the album and every song I release is a detailed description of something that has hurt me.”

Following speculation about his sexuality, Smith came out to Fader magazine.

In The Lonely Hour is, in fact, about another man.