Sam Smith: My songs might change opinions in countries where gay men get killed
Sam Smith has said his songs could be ‘changing opinions’ in countries where being gay could get you killed – despite never mentioning male lovers in his lyrics.
The British singer sparked criticism last year when he said he was “not trying to be a spokesperson” for the gay community.
He also previously defended only singing about gender-neutral “lovers” to ensure his songs are universal and “apply to everyone” – though straight male singers sing about girlfriends all the time.
In an interview with NME this week, he tried to address some of his past comments.
He said: “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.
“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.”
The singer hinted that he had changed his stance on the issue somewhat – and given he is already working on his second album, it is possible that his upcoming material could see him explicitly singing about men.
Referring to his previous comments, he added: “I want to be a spokesperson. I want to be a figure in the gay community, who speaks for gay men.
“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, realise it’s by a gay artist, and it might change their opinion.”
Years & Years singer Olly Alexander has hit out in the past at gay musicians who sing about gender-neutral “lovers” in songs, saying: “It is kind of sad to me that we don’t have gay popstars singing about men using a male pronoun, but that could change hopefully.”