10 Things you didn't know about Sam Smith

Aug 22, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: WENN

Not only will Brit sensation Sam Smith be making his VMAs debut as a performer this year, but the singer is also up for both Artist to Watch and Best Male Video. If we had our druthers, he'd win both. But since it isn't only up to us, we decided to listen to his music on repeat and dig up 10 bits of trivia about this talented guy.

1. He absolutely considers himself a feminist

Noting that his great aunts were some of the first female bankers in London and that his "mum" was the family provider, Smith opened up to The Fader about the influence of women in his life. "My dad was a house husband, so the roles of women in my family were so strong," he explained. "The guys are amazing in our family, but they are more feminine. The females are the providers, which has turned me into a complete feminist."

2. He'd be on board with boycotting mobile matchmaking

"No offense to people who go on Tinder, but I just feel like it's ruining romance, I really do," he said, expressing his distaste for social dating apps to Metro. "We're losing the art of conversation and being able to go and speak to people, and you're swiping people."

3. He's always had a flair for the dramatic arts — and Britney Spears, too

Even as a child, Smith made a beeline for the stage... even if it was a makeshift one. "I had this conservatory in my house — three steps went up to a kind of raised part of our kitchen. I used it as the stage. Every night after school, I used to download backing tracks of songs I loved and perform to myself. My mum was trying to cook and I was pretending I was at the O2 arena," he told Interview. When asked what he favored singing, he admitted, "I attempted Britney tunes, but that was when my voice hadn't broken. Suddenly it broke and I couldn't sing them anymore. That was upsetting."

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4. Acting terrifies him

"SNL was the scariest experience of my life. It's just so scary," he confessed about his stage fright to AMP 97.1 Radio. "I hate doing television. It's not natural for me, if you know what I mean."

5. He meant "Stay With Me" to be emotional... but not necessarily romantic

Hey, don't feel bad. We get totally caught up in the emotion of the song, too. And that's good — that's what Smith wants. But the cold-hard truth is that "Stay With Me" has a much less romantic scenario attached to it than you might imagine. "'Stay With Me,' for me, is my own personal anthem to the 'walk of shame' that we've all gone through," he confessed to NPR of the song's meaning. "It's the feeling after a one-night stand of not wanting that person to leave, even if you don't love them and don't even like them. It's about having that body next to you. I wanted to say it from a guy's perspective, as well, because I think we forget sometimes that guys are emotional."

6. He's not completely jazzed about those Adele comparisons

While Smith is quick to point out that Adele is iconic and seems like a lovely person, he's also frank about the downside of being compared to his fellow Brit powerhouse. "I think it's a huge pressure in terms of sales, because I think it's virtually impossible to sell that many records again," he shared with Elle. "But it's also a massive compliment. Because, to me, Adele is all about honesty."

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7. New York reminds him of his parents splitting, but he kinda loves that

Scratching your head? It's not that Smith wanted his parents to split, it's just that the circumstances surrounding that split were, well, pretty OK. "We went on a holiday for a week and, on the first day, they split up. But it was actually the best holiday we've had in our lives, because we were all stuck in New York together for the whole week and had to kind of get on with it as a family. It's the reason why we're all so close now," Smith revealed about his parent's divorce to Pigeons and Planes.

8. He realized he wanted to be a singer by being a backup singer

"It was probably when I was backup singing for my jazz teacher," Smith revealed to Self-Titled Mag about the moment he realized he wanted to perform. "I did jazz concerts with her, including one at Kentwood House where she supported Buena Vista Social Club. I loved it. It was such a huge crowd. I remember thinking, 'This is it.'"

9. Prior to the dating he's now doing, he was a relationship virgin

Crazy, right? He's young, he's talented, he's cute. But before he met the guy he's dating now, romance wasn't really happening for him. "I've never been in a relationship before," Smith told Radio.com. "When I was writing this album, I really delved into that fact. I delved into [how] I fell in love with someone who didn't love me back last year. I really went inside myself and I wanted to write an album for lonely people, because I don't think there's been enough music out there that talks about unrequited love."

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10. Sometimes, he listens to the P.S. I Love You soundtrack

"I was in a bit of an emotional state yesterday, so I got it up on Spotify, and I was just listening to it," Smith laughed while chatting with Interview Magazine about the sentimental soundtrack. "It's a guilty pleasure of mine." We feel you, Smith. We feel you.