MTV Push: Sam Smith On Style, Tattoos And Katy Perry
Mr Sam Smith shares his signature style and beauty must-haves, before striking a pose...
By Jennifer Lynn
“For me it’s all about quality,” says Sam Smith when asked about his sartorial choices. “My jacket is Armani and it’s so soft – stroke it!” Doing as we’re told, we caress Sam’s coat sleeve as if it were a cat, and it is literally the nicest thing ever to touch our skin. Appropriate, really, as the ‘Stay With Me’ singer is also one of the nicest men in music.
Continuing our fashion chat, we discover his shirt is American Apparel and his shoes are Jimmy Choo. “I only got them about five days ago, but I’ve scraped them already,” says Sam with a sigh. “I dressed myself today, but my stylist has taught me that you always have to wear what you feel comfortable in, because it affects your mood, performance, everything.”
Speaking of performances, Sam has plenty lined up over the summer, playing every festival from T In The Park to Australia’s Splendour In The Grass. So how is he planning on translating his suave suited style to a more casual, summer wardrobe?
“I need to work out what I’m going to do, because I like jackets and I like layering, but it’s going to be too warm,” says Sam. “I might do some nice patterns and prints. I like to surprise people and I’d wear anything really, but I still want to be identifiable, and I could never do jogging bottoms.
A big part of Sam’s identity is the silver cross earrings he’s never usually seen without, but on the day of our shoot we notice they’ve been replaced by tiny gold ‘S’ initials. “My crosses were hurting my ears this morning, so I had to take them out,” he says. “I’ll need to get new ones made in proper silver, but these are a temporary measure, I thought they were cute. I really want people to see my earrings as my signature.”
While he likes to keep a consistent image going for his fans, the same can’t be said for his music, which Sam says “shouldn’t always have to sound the same.” Speaking of his debut album In The Lonely Hour, which is set for release on May 26th, he shares, “I want to show people that even though I can do Stay With Me, I can also do Latch just as well. I think a lot of artists get caught up in keeping a consistent feel running through their record, but even though my album has a theme – loneliness – it’s me who’s the constant, not the sound.”
Bringing his inimitable voice to London’s Roundhouse on May 30th, he’s gig clashing with Katy Perry, who continues her Prismatic World Tour at the O2 Arena that very same night. “I know Katy, she’s great,” says Sam. “If I was ever going to cover one of her tracks it would be ‘Double Rainbow’, from her new album, it’s amazing.”
From the ultimate California Gurl to Sam’s first trip to LA last year, he brought back one souvenir that’s certainly not going to gather dust on a shelf: an ice cream cone tattoo on his left leg. “I don’t even like ice cream!” he laughs. His tat collection also includes a plane on his right leg (“drunk in Malia at 18 and I’d just got off the plane, so I got a plane”) and two tiny secret symbols on his fingers. “I’ll never tell anyone why I have them, but I love them,” says Sam.
One styling statement he is happy to talk about? “All men wear make-up, it’s 2014, it’s fine. I personally have rosacea, but my make-up artist is great at sorting it out. My main beauty essential is my fragrance though; Bleu de Chanel, and people now say it reminds them of me. I like that.”
With festivals taking over most of his summer, a cheeky holiday in Ibiza where he’s going to be doing “something very special” and a few surprises for his fans along the way, you wouldn’t think Sam would have time for anything else. However, never one to shy away from more work, he says, “I’m working on some merchandise designs and the new pieces will be coming out soon. I’ve got a new logo and I just want to concentrate on building my brand – music, fashion, everything.”
Sam’s debut album In The Lonely Hour is released on May 26th
Photos by Justin Borbely for MTV