Sam Smith has said that men in the music industry experience pressures to look a certain way in the same way women do.
NME spoke to Smith for the exclusive cover feature in this week’s magazine (available free in the UK now).
Smith discussed his rise to fame, the melancholy side of his personality and weight issues following the release of his new Bond theme ‘Writing’s On The Wall’.
Smith said he has struggled with negative body image since childhood and has lost almost 50lb over the past year.
“I still feel pressured to look a certain way,” he told NME. “For women, the pressure in this industry is horrendous and it’s got to stop. But it’s the same for guys, even though they won’t speak about it.”
He continued: “I want to be a voice for that: just because I’ve lost weight doesn’t mean that I’m happy and content with my body. Because of the media, and because of what I feel I should look like, it’s always going to be a battle in my head.”
Smith also stated that his insecurities have influenced his song writing, describing one new song about body image as “the happiest I’ve ever written… [or] at least it’s not too sad”
In the same interview, Smith spoke passionately about being gay in the music industry and said that he is ready to be seen as someone who speaks for gay men.
Following comments made in 2014 that he wants to be more than a ‘spokesperson for the gay community’, Smith admitted his stance has recently changed.
“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 said. “What I was trying to say was that I didn’t want the 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.
“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, realise it’s by a gay artist, and it might change their opinion.”
Read the full interview here and see the brand-new photoshoot in the all-new free NME, available nationwide from today (October 23).
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