In 2014, Sam Smith generated some controversy when the In the Lonely Hour singer revealed that he was “not trying to be a spokesperson” for the gay community. Smith first deviated from that stance with his historic “Lay Me Down” video, and in a new interview with NME, he further walked back those comments, saying that he now hopes his music can alter some people’s perceptions.
“I want to be a spokesperson. I want to be a figure in the gay community, who speaks for gay men,” Smith said. “I sell records in countries where gay men get killed and that’s a big thing for me, because maybe one person in that country will pick up my album, realize it’s by a gay artist, and it might change their opinion.”
Smith admitted that he misspoke in 2014, when his comments made it seem as though he only wanted to be known for his music, regardless of his sexuality. “I’m a gay man who came out when I was 10 years old, and there’s nothing in my life that I’m prouder of,” Smith told NME. “What I was trying to say was that I didn’t want the album to appeal to just one community, I wanted it to appeal to all of them. I wanted anyone, gay or straight, to be able to relate to me singing about men, like I was able to relate to Stevie Wonder or John Legend singing about girls.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the singer of new James Bond theme “Writing’s on the Wall” revealed his personal favorite 007s. “[Daniel Craig] was my favorite initially, because I’m 23 years old. I hadn’t seen all the old movies, and I loved how modern his take on Bond was,” Smith said. “But when I went back and watched them all, I realized that it’s [Sean] Connery and [Roger] Moore who I love the most. I love how classy and clean-cut they are. I think I’d like the next Bond to be more of a return to that.”