To solidify for the Brits just how much we really love them, the U.S. has gone and fallen head over heels for another one of its phenomenally talented humans, by the name of Sam Smith. It’s mostly just too bad that we can’t fully claim him as our own as we’ve wished we could do with others, but it isn’t for lack of trying. It’s more for lack of time on Sam’s part because, these days, he’s everywhere and doing everything. Which is probably why no one is able to have a musical conversation for longer than 5 minutes without someone saying, “Hey, have you heard about that Sam Smith guy? He has the voice of 1,000 cherubs.” And I couldn’t be happier about it, to be honest.
So, to celebrate his (very, extremely rapidly) growing fame, here are 5 facts that you need to know about him in order to sit at the cool kids’ table.
1. If it feels like he’s come out of nowhere, it’s because he sort of has.
That isn’t to say that he’s only just begun honing his craft, because he’s been performing musically since at least his early teens and spent time training to be a Jazz singer. It’s just that it’s still hard not to be surprised (impressed? imprised?) by his sharp increase in popularity, since his first hit was his feature on Disclosure’s “Latch” in late 2012, less than two years ago.
2. He’s super young, so that you feel appropriately underachieved.
At just barely 22 years old, Sam has already launched a promising international music career. By that time, lots of people are just starting to feel confident that they can do their laundry without bleaching everything to hell.
3. His musical favs are your music favs.
Because they’re everyone’s. When asked about his influences, Sam cites Etta James, Joni Mitchell, and Beyoncé. And here he is singing a duet with the legendary Mary J. Blige of his song “Stay With Me” and, dare I say, killing it way better than she is.
Before the world had even heard what Sammy Sam was bringing to the table with his first album, In The Lonely Hour, the BRIT Award official-people-in-charge were all, “You look like you could use one of these.”
5. He writes lyrics that you feel because they’re lyrics that you understand.
Sam let us all in on the fact that his album is mostly inspired by a guy that he loved who didn’t love him back. Which obvi works for him because I feel all of the feelings and then some when I listen to his songs.
And, as a parting gift, here’s my favorite song off of Sam’s album. It’s called “Nirvana” and it’s quite accurately named, if you ask me.
May the world never have to stop listening to him sing into microphones. Sam, you rock; don’t ever change. You can change a little if you want to grow as an artist but, like, I’m trying to quote Lizzie McGuire here, if you don’t mind.