British singer/songwriter Sam Smith recently participated in an installment of GRAMMY U SoundChecks at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles. In an exclusive question-and-answer session with GRAMMY U students, Smith discussed his evolution as an artist, writing his upcoming debut album, In The Lonely Hour, and his breakthrough hit "Latch" with Disclosure, among other topics.
"Something about 'Latch,' for me, changed everything," said Smith. "I was in my bar working when I recorded that song and wrote that song. … So, it took me out of that situation, but it also steered me into the type of music that I knew I wanted to make."
Smith scored his breakthrough hit in 2012 as featured artist on recent GRAMMY-nominated duo Disclosure's "Latch," which cracked the Billboard 100 and peaked at No. 11 on the UK singles chart. Smith followed in 2013 with his debut single, "Lay Me Down," and a featured collaboration on Naughty Boy's Top 40 hit "La La La." The latter track rose to No. 1 on the UK singles chart and garnered a nomination for British Single at the 2014 Brit Awards, where Smith was ultimately honored with the Critics' Choice Award. More recently, Smith topped BBC's Sound of 2014 poll and released his debut EP, Nirvana E.P., in the United States. The seven-song set reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart on the strength of the lead single "Safe With Me."
Smith's debut studio album, In The Lonely Hour, is scheduled for release in the United States on June 17. The album features 10 tracks co-written by Smith, including the singles "Money On My Mind" and "Stay With Me."
Smith is currently in the midst of an international tour, with select dates scheduled through November.