Sam Smith: “I Want To Be A Figure In The Gay Community”
Sam Smith wants to be a “figure in the gay community,” more than a year after infamously saying he didn’t want to be such a “spokesperson.”
“I’m a gay man who came out when I was 10 years old, and there’s nothing in my life that I’m prouder of,” Smith now tells NME, explaining,. “What I was trying to say was that I didn’t want [my debut] album to appeal to just one community, I wanted it to appeal to all of them. I wanted anyone, gay or straight, to be able to relate to me singing about men, like I was able to relate to Stevie Wonder or John Legend singing about girls.”
Smith continues, “I want to be a spokesperson. I want to be a figure in the gay community, who speaks for gay men. I sell records in countries where gay men get killed and that’s a big thing for me, because maybe one person in that country will pick up my album, realize it’s by a gay artist, and it might change their opinion.”
The breakout star, who triumphed at the Grammys earlier this year, also gets introspective talking about how he’s gotten to this point. “I’ve had an amazing life, but I think I was born with a little bit of sadness in me,” he says. “I’ve always been attracted to those things, whether it’s sad movies, sad music… when you’re sad, you feel everything in a greater way than you do when you’re happy.”
He goes on, “I’m a vulnerable, sensitive person. I overthink everything. I’m insanely self-conscious about my body, about my music, about everything in my life, and that self-consciousness is what’s keeping my feet on the ground at the moment. If I didn’t have it, I’d become a bit of a [expletive]. I’m thankful for my sadness.”
The new issue of NME with Smith’s full cover story will be released on Friday.