Sam Smith: ‘I sell records in countries where gay men get killed and that’s a big thing for me’

Singer tells NME about sexuality and says that he wants to be an important figure in the gay community

Sam Smith has spoken passionately about being gay in the music industry and said that he is ready to be seen as someone who speaks for gay men.

NME spoke to Smith for the exclusive cover feature in this week’s magazine (available free in the UK from Friday, October 23) and discussed his rise to fame, the melancholy side of his personality and new Bond theme ‘Writing’s On The Wall’.

On the subject of Bond, Smith admitted that he did not know the franchise too well initially but now wants the actor who plays James Bond next to be like Roger Moore or Sean Connery:


“[Daniel Craig] was my favourite initially, because I’m 23 years old. I hadn’t seen all the old movies, and I loved how modern his take on Bond was. But when I went back and watched them all, I realised that it’s Connery and Moore who I love the most,” he said. “I love how classy and clean-cut they are. I think I’d like the next Bond to be more of a return to that.”

Following comments made in 2014 that he wants to be more than a ‘spokesperson for the gay community’, Smith admits 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.”

Smith’s huge-selling debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ has become synonymous with sadness, something the singer admits was in him from an early age.

“I’ve had an amazing life, but I think I was born with a little bit of sadness in me,” he said. “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. 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 pr*ck. I’m thankful for my sadness.”


Read the full interview and see the brand-new photoshoot in the all-new free NME, available nationwide on October 23 and on Find out where you can get your copy from the full list of pick-up points.

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