DList Magazine Summer "Nightlife" Issue 2015 - Page 45

H SAM SMITH FEATURE The first time I heard Sam Smith’s soft rich vocals was back in 2012 through the uppity and catchy beats of Disclosure’s breakthrough single, “Latch.” Co-written by Smith, the track topped U.K. charts within months of its release, but it wasn’t until 2014 that it made an impression in the U.S. -- peaking at #7 on the Billboard Charts and nominated in the recent [2015] Billboard Music Awards for “Top Dance/Electronic Song.” Born in Cambridgeshire, England, Smith grew up idolizing artists like Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, who is inadvertently responsible for his career after his parents heard him sing along to “My Love Is Your Love” one morning when he was 8 years old. From that moment forward he spent his time in vocal training, theater rehearsals, and performing at dinner parties. Not only were multiple managers fighting for his chance at fame, but he himself was envisioning his stardom. In an interview with GQ, Smith explained, “There's always been a hunger in me not necessarily to be successful, but to be an icon. I just want to leave a mark—to be kind of everlasting.” His training was focused on jazzy, traditional, and old style, standard sounds similar to Frank Sinatra, with "Come Fly with Me" as the song he sang at his first signing when he was 10 years old. However, “Latch” showcased Smith’s voice capabilities to mix his that pain that led to his fame in only two short years. At only 23, Smith’s musical accomplishments are outstanding -winning the 2014 BRIT Critics Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll, and four of his six