As singer Sam Smith prepares the release of his new album, he took some time to talk with Fresh 102.7’s Karen & Jeffrey in New York City about his musical influences while growing up and who he’s most impressed with out of today’s artists.
These days, Fifth Harmony fans will be happy to know that Sam considers himself an official #Harmonizer and revealed his favorite 5H member — Camila Cabello — which will certainly rally the troops on both sides of the split behind him.
“My taste in music is very broad,” Sam tells Karen and Jeffrey. “I love Joni [Mitchell] and Tracy [Chapman] — but I also love Fifth Harmony. I’m obsessed. I know all their album tracks.”
“Fifth Harmony,” Sam says with a huge smile, is one of his go-to groups when preparing to take the stage at his own shows, also admitting that if he were a member of Fifth Harmony, he would be Camila Cabello. Of course, he’s well aware Camila’s been officially out of the group since December of 2016, which absolutely broke his heart.
“But I love her stuff too, so I’ve got the best of both worlds as a Harmonizer.”
Listening to Smith’s music and reading his lyrics, you get a sense of pain and longing — which elicits thoughts of some of Karen’s favorite female singers. Sam agrees and feels his style is absolutely comparable to those same female artists he grew up listening to.
“I think I get that from the music I’ve listened to,” Sam admits. “Because I’ve only ever listened to females — I don’t really listen to guy singers. Recently I’ve started to listen to a few more but I just listen to women sing and female songwriters. I’m half woman,” he jokes.
When asked about some of his favorite artists growing up, he remembers Amy Winehouse‘s Frank which was released when he was only 11-years-old “and that just rocked everything for me,” he says. “I loved Corrine Bailey Rae’s first record, that’s a huge part of my musical background growing up. Joni Mitchell. There’s an artist called Maria Mena, she’s from Norway, and she’s incredible. She’s the most personal writer you’ll ever find in your life. I’ve never read lyrics as personal as hers. She’s a huge influence.”
As for other contemporary artists of this generation, Sam admits that he enjoys, “so many amazing acts. I love Emeli Sande’s record, I think it’s just incredible. Obviously Adele. Drake’s incredible… Rihanna, Beyonce… Bon Iver. There’s so much amazing music out there, I just don’t think there’s a balance sometimes when it comes to pop music.
Sam Smith released his latest single “Too Good At Goodbyes” on September 8th and is preparing his follow up to In the Lonely Hour for release later this month.
“This is the most personal record I’ve ever made in my life,” Sam explains. “It really is my diary in every way and I feel like I’m telling people my secrets for the first time. But I do feel like it’s in safe hands.
-Joe Cingrana/Fresh 102.7