Sam Smith: Pipes of Grammy-gold

Artist Review

by Priska Mohunsingh

Samuel Frederick "Sam" Smith is an English singer and songwriter. You’ve probably heard of his popular single “Stay With Me” or “Latch”, which feature the talented artist Disclosure. Sam Smith incorporates his real experiences and feelings to share with his audience. His first successful album, he's been known to say, was the album where he sewed his heart on his sleeve - it won him four Grammys in a night. With his both catchy and meaningful lyrics, he woos countless people everyday with his angelic voice that is subtly powerful and magical. At first, I wouldn’t listen to his music because I thought he “must be another pop singer trying to make it to the Billboard’s Hot 100, but then I heard a playlist of his beautiful music at a friend’s house. I was shaken by the amount of talent and perfection contained in one human being.

Amongst other popular musicians, Sam Smith is a favorite according to a recent survey I conducted. These were the statistics when I asked some vocal majors, arts majors, and instrumental majors on their choice:

As a singer-songwriter, I look up to Sam Smith. It is surprising how one song can instantly drill excitement into a person, but if the magic continues within each song, a larger audience is bound to grow for - especially for  an artist who seems both promising and devoted to music holistically. His music isn’t just for musicians to appreciate: I think everyone can appreciate his talent.

Some of my favorite songs by him include:

  • I’m Not the Only One

  • Latch

  • Lay Me Down

  • Not in That Way

  • Stay With Me

These are my favourites because he quickly switches from a lower voice to falsetto in the chorus. At first, I found the instrumentation of the piece “different” since I had never heard such a legato tune and powerful voice in “pop” music. By simply listening to his heavenly voice, I can say that he’s probably a great operatic singer since his has great vocal technique; his diction, legato, breath management, presentation, and resonance seem to be very well-trained and fixed. As a stylistic means, he bends the “rules” of music by adding his own popular twist and uncommon music range/scale for a male popular artist.

His music, in my opinion, is art. He has brought home four Grammy awards in one night, officially establishing his fame and talent in the music industry. Enchanting his way into the front lines of the music scene, in the 2015 Grammys, he earned four awards: Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. He is an artist everyone should listen to - he's got that real vibe, that's often lost in the waves of Top 40 music and too often drifts in the Ocean of Unknown Indie Music.