In need of some new sad songs to get you through tough times? What about an unthinkable falsetto you can only dream of replicating in your shower? Sam Smith has got you covered. The 21-year-old Brit is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend, and if you want to impress your friends by rattling off facts about an artist everyone will be talking out before his major television appearance, we suggest you study up.
He can barely buy a legal drink here in the States, but Smith’s voice suggests the maturity (and pain and regret) of someone who’s lived twice as long. With hints of gospel and soul, as well as his British origin and penchant for weepy love songs, the comparisons to Adele are there. But rather than classify him as the male version of Ms. Adkins, you should be thankful that someone with such incredible range is getting the mainstream attention he deserves. His SNL booking might seem premature, but buzz has been building across the pond for the last two years. Thanks to some key feature credits on two breakout hits of 2013 — Disclosure‘s “Latch” and Naughty Boy‘s “La La La” — Sam’s been able to go through a lot of industry machinations under the radar — and quit his London bartending job for good. So what can American audiences expect from the stylish singer? “I hope that they just get to know me a bit more,” he told VH1 during South By Southwest earlier this month. “I don’t rehearse anything that I say when I perform. I go on stage and I’m myself and I’m me that day; I don’t want to be anything else. I just want people to feel like they know me and hopefully I help them in their lonely hour.”
Smith released his solo EP, Nirvana, in January here in the States, fresh off his BBC Sound of 2014 win. With the entire British music community vouching for him, as well as professional endorsements from the likes of Taylor Swift, anticipation for his debut LP couldn’t be higher. In The Lonely Hour will be released on May 26 in the UK and June 17 in the U.S., following a string of sold-out North American shows. In concert Sam treats his audience like they’re old friends. Earlier this week he confided in New York’s Webster Hall crowd that he’s never been in a relationship, and made sure to instruct them on just when they should start dancing. As a Beyoncé superfan, we wouldn’t expect anything less. (OK, maybe he and Adele have even more in common than we thought.) In short, he’s absolutely precious in person and worthy of the hype. Find out how well he knows his female divas and what he’d be doing if he wasn’t performing, by watching the video above.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]