Sam Smith’s biggest diva challenges

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Media captionSam Smith astonishes devotees on his upcoming BBC One show

Backstage at the BBC’s studios in Elstree, Sam Smith is strolling around in a silk kimono and ruby red-faced stilettos.

“Babe, I don’t understand, ” he grumbles down his phone. “They’re telling Fearne[ Cotton] wear ends, so why can’t I wear ends? “

Don’t worry, he’s not proceeded full Mariah. It’s all in aid of a sketch for his TV special, Sam Smith at the BBC, which airs on Thursday.

In real life, the vocalist tries his best to continue humble.

“I don’t ask for puppies in my dressing room, ” he titters.

“But sometimes – and I’m truly humiliated about this – when they’re doing my make-up before I go onstage, beings do up my laces for me.

“I hate it. I feel like a diva. A diva or a three-year-old.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The superstar built his reputation with guest spots on accounts by Exposure and Naughty Boy

Still, there was a epoch after the prodigious success of Smith’s debut album, In The Lonely Hour, when his head was revolved by prestige.

He was hanging out with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake at Taylor Swift’s 25 th birthday party, and spraying off to Mexico for the world premiere of Spectre, the Bond film for which he wrote the Oscar-winning theme.

“I did get a bit … I wouldn’t say big-headed, but I was living in that scene method too much, and I needed to be brought back down to world, ” he says bashfully.

“There was one time when I wore a brand-new duo of breathes every day and threw all the old ones away. I went obsessed with wearing different breathes every night.

“But that only lasted a month, ” he says with a huge roar of laughter. “I rewear all my throbs all the time now.”

Smith, it has to be said, is not the lamentable, vulnerable young man he’s often represented to be. Yes, his passions lead close to the surface, but he’s likewise funny, forthright and supremely ambitious.

“I want to play Wembley Stadium one day, ” he declares, the suggestion being it’s inevitable , not some remote dream.

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Media captionSam Smith on triumphing good original psalm at the Oscars

We speak on the day his second album, The Thrill Of It All, is exhausted. Smith has just come back from a sign at HMV in Oxford Street, where he wasn’t mobbed so much as sobbed.

“The legends parties were tell people: Oh my God! I was trying not to cry the whole time.”

“I forget sometimes just how intense the music is.”

The ‘dangerous’ second album

Smith’s second book has a lot to live up to. Its predecessor was the fastest-selling debut by a British male solo creator in US plot history; inducing the 25 -year-old a four-time Grammy winner, with four UK number one singles and an Oscar to boot.

In interrogations, he’s described the brand-new album as “dangerous” – a description that seems at odds with its accessible, soul-searching ballads. So what did he make?

“For me, it was dangerous because I couldn’t hear these psalms on the radio, ” he justifies. “Just because of the climate of pop music right now. I don’t fantasize my music fits that well.”

He’s incorrect, of course. The album extended silver-tongued in the seat of three days, and it’s comfortably winning the hasten to be this week’s number 1 – on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The reception has been incredible. I’m just so offended, ” the stellar says.

Settling down in his evidence company’s boardroom, surrounded by his own amber discs, Smith delved into the album’s key trails, exposing some of the secrets behind his latest desire songs.

Too Good At Goodbyes

The album’s first line is also its first single; a gospel-inspired ballad in which Smith thrusts his lover away to avoid getting his heart broken.

Key lyric: “I’m never gonna let you close to me/ Even though you signify “the worlds largest” to me/ ‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts.”

Sam says: “The affair this song is about was kind of tumultuous. It objective a few seasons … but by the last experience, I knew I’d be OK because I had a plan in place.

“That’s what the psalm is saying: Every duration you’re hurting me, I’m hollering little. I know I’m going to be OK because I’ve become too good at this now. I’ve done it before.

“So I’m actually not that good at goodbyes. I’m the worst! But I was trying to convince myself in this song.”


Image copyright Capitol Records Image caption Sam Smith: “I craved my new book to mean something, and for it to be deep.”

Sam tells the story of a son in Mississippi coming out to his father. It was partly inspired by disapproval that Smith didn’t use gender-specific pronouns like “he” and “him” on his first album.

Key lyric: “Don’t you try and tell me that God doesn’t care for us/ It is him I enjoy, it is him I love.”

Sam says: “I had an astonishing came to see you ordeal and I forgot, perhaps, how tough it is for some people.

“But after the first album I realised I is responsible for as a gay pa creator. It’s important for me to be a tone and hopefully invigorate some young children that are living in the outskirts and have no way in.

“I’m a bit anxious, I’m not going to lie, about singing Him in certain parts of America. But on the other hand, I can’t await. I want to sing Him in Mississippi more than anything.”

Baby, You Form Me Crazy

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Dap Kings have worked with Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson

Backed by Amy Winehouse’s old-time strip, The Dap Kings, Sam sings about leader out on the town to shake his ex “out of my system”.

Key lyric: “I’m gonna have to call my sisters/ Be around the ones who listen/ Anything to submerge you out tonight.”

Sam says: “That’s about the day I got dumped. I was sitting with our friend and my sisters in the garden on the day it happened. He dumped me over the phone and I recollect going back into the house and saying, ‘It’s over’.

“And they just said to me: ‘Let’s keep forgetting it for one night. Let’s go out and get absolutely blotto wino and dance and try to forget about it all for one nighttime – then tomorrow we can wake up and deal with it.”

The Thrill of It All

Image caption The wizard surprised two followers by performing at their wed. Footage will be shown on the BBC One Sam Smith special.

One of the best vocal recitals on the book, the deed track is a simple piano-and-strings ballad that acquires Smith musing on the jeopardies of fame.

Key lyric: “I regret that I told the world/ That you were with me.”

Sam says: “I was in a relationship when I secreted In The Lonely Hour and I posted pictures of us on Instagram. I very quickly learned a assignment: I don’t want to be far-famed in that space. I exactly appeared embarrassed.

“When the relationship aimed, I was like, ‘Wow, I really messed that up by putting pressure on it when I shouldn’t have’.

“I’m in a relationship now[ with 13 Concludes Why superstar Brandon Flynn] and beings taking word-paintings and talking about[ us] scares me. But it’s important to not evade speaking about it because it contributes more drama. It gives people a reason to dig.”

One Last-place Song

Image copyright PA Image caption The vocalist tours the UK next March and April

The whole of In The Lonely Hour was about a married man who Smith had an unrequited grind on. He’s left that far behind – but not before writing one final tribute.

Key lyric: “I know you don’t want to talk to me, so this is what I will do/ Maybe you’re listening, so here’s one last psalm for you.”

Sam says: “Towards the end of the scrawl process, he started to slip back into my memory. But the anthem wasn’t about longing for him – I was just remembering my relationships and summing up the similarities between him and the person who this record’s about.

“I think when you sing about love, you’re singing about every love you’ve ever had. Not simply ever about one person.

“So this is just like a final charity psalm to him. He’s done so much for me, and he’s such an amazing being. I miss him.”

Sam Smith’s album is out now. His TV special, Sam Smith at the BBC, will be broadcast on Thursday at 20:00 GMT on BBC One. The documentary On The Enter: Sam Smith are located on Apple Music.

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