British soul singer Sam Smith knows a thing or two about heartache — a whole album full of things, as a matter of fact. Smith says In the Lonely Hour was inspired by his unrequited love for a friend — a straight male friend.
Smith, who publicly came out earlier this year, told The Sun that when he realized he would never get his crush to switch teams, he turned his disappointment into some incredible songs.
“It’s really tough to explain. But no, he’s not gay,” Smith revealed.
“Nothing ever happened between us. I know he loved me too, but not in that way… When I wrote the record I was just really heartbroken — all I wanted to do was go to the studio and write about this guy who I fell in love with.”
And yes, the man in question knows the entire album is about him.
“I told him before it came out,” Smith explained. “And it gave me a lot of closure actually. It put a bookend at the end of the record.”
Earlier this year he told DigitalSpy, “I don’t have that many sad things going on in my life and it was the only thing that was really affecting me last year: I fell in love with someone who didn’t love me back, and it made me get into this headspace of, ‘Will I find a man to love? When will I find love?’ This album is my ‘f*** off’ to everyone and basically says, ‘No, I have been in love with a man and, if anything, it was much more painful than your version, because I’m not getting what I want with a man and it’s so close I can almost taste him.’ So, it’s my way of defining what is love, and how unrequited love is just as painful, just as powerful, as what we call ‘normal’ love.”
Now, the singer told The Sun, he has broken the chains of love — writing those songs has set him free.
“It was amazing, I’m so happy I did it. What I wrote the songs about doesn’t affect me anymore,” he explained.