Vocalist Sam Smith to Perform on SNL this Friday

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This Friday, fast-rising British vocalist Sam Smith will make his Saturday Night Live debut alongside Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran. Friday’s show, co-hosted by comedian/actors Seth Rogen and Louie C.K., is sure to be a hit. Hopefully, Smith’s appearance on SNL will finally bring him the individual recognition he deserves as a musician and propel him into American pop-culture limelight.

In early January, BBC named Sam Smith, a 21-year-old vocalist from Cambridge, BBC’s Sound of 2014. This incredibly coveted title places Smith among the likes of Mika, Adele, and Ellie Goulding, British artists that then immediately took the world by storm with their musical prowess and banging vocals.

Despite the not-so-recent nomination, the young starlet has managed to remain largely undiscovered in America. However, unlike Mika, Adele, and Ellie Goulding, Smith has still yet to release his first album, which is expected to debut on May 26th. If the artist sounds vaguely familiar, you’ve probably heard of him from Disclosure’s “Latch” or Naughty Boy’s “La La La”. Despite dominating both tracks with his mesmerizing vocals, Smith remained bracketed as a feature artist. And even in “Latch”, his most notable piece, the techno-house accompaniment does not do justice to his voice.

I first really gained an appreciation for his voice when I stumbled upon a live acoustic version of “Lay Me Down”. I usually always prefer edited acoustics, because as much as you want to believe the singer is just as good live as he is in the studio, the reverse is almost always true. Not this time. It was one of those performances that takes you away: you can do nothing but close your eyes, sink back, and let the music take you for a sublime 3 and half minutes.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyQT_0cYrbA

 

I’ve been long anticipating his next release, and he absolutely lived up to my expectations. Smith’s beautiful new single “Stay With Me” dropped yesterday, and its perfect display of his talent. Smith begins quietly, his voice carried along by the sweetness of the piano. The slow-burning song then crescendos and bursts into chorus backed by a gospel choir and deep drums. Ironically, the pop-starlet has never been in a relationship, and I think it shows in his idealized vision of what it means to be love. Smith describes his upcoming album, aptly titled The Lonely Hour, as a personal tribute to “unrequited love and loneliness.”

Despite the often cliché lyrics, BBC Radio 1 thought the song was so good that they played it twice during its premiere, saying, “the world needs more of this.”

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rC8RRXcfeo

 

Guest writer Annie DeMane '15  is an English major with a concentration in literary studies. Big thanks to her for this article and we look forward to receiving more content from her in the future!

(Image source: telegraph.co.uk)