On June 17 Sam Smith will release his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, in the United States. Ahead of the album's U.S. release, the British singer/songwriter participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview, discussing how he set out to be a solo artist, the relationship that inspired the making of his new album and what GRAMMY winner Mary J. Blige told him about the blues.
"[Mary J. Blige] was saying to me that there are certain people in this world who will always sing the blues … and I'm one of those people," said Smith. "I will sing happy songs, and I do sing happy songs, but the stuff that's going to move me, and going to make me close my eyes, is always the blues."
Born in London, Smith scored his breakthrough hit in 2012 as a featured artist on recent GRAMMY-nominated duo Disclosure's "Latch," which topped Billboard's Heatseekers Songs chart. Smith followed in 2013 with his debut single, "Lay Me Down," and a featured collaboration on Naughty Boy's Top 20 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, which featured "Safe With Me," reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart.
Smith is currently in the midst of an international tour, with select dates scheduled through November.