Back in 2014, people the world over fell completely in love with Sam Smith. It’s little wonder, really, given that his powerful voice, emotive lyrics, and sheer relatability combine to make him the perfect pop star. For the past couple of years Sam has been out of the limelight, writing and recording his new album, The Thrill of It All, which has just been released. So when BuzzFeed UK were offered the chance of a catch up with Sam, we jumped on it.
Despite subjecting him to some of our most nosey and probing questions, Sam handled the whole thing like a pro and had everyone in the room keeling over with laughter. Here, he reveals some little-known facts about himself. And from hating karaoke to wishing for instant orgasms, nothing was off limits.
1. If you weren't a singer, what would you be?
Sam Smith: A florist. I love flowers and I'd just love to work with them. They make me happy.
2. What's your weirdest possession?
SS: I have a really weird statue in my living room that I got from Bruges. It's a camel with a baby's head on it. It's called Leo and I love it, but it freaks everyone else out.
3. What's your secret talent?
SS: I can do this [wiggles his fingers], which is a thing not a lot of people can do. And I can also do this with my eyelashes [turns his eyelids almost inside out so his eyelashes rest against them].
4. What's your favourite song of your own?
SS: My song called "Nirvana," which was on my first EP. I feel like it was really off the cuff – it feels like an ad lib. And it's the closest thing to sexy that I think I've ever got.
5. If you could be anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
SS: Judy Garland. Because I'm obsessed with her and I would love to have been able to sing like that. I think she has the most beautiful voice of all time.
6. What's your go-to karaoke song?
SS: Fucking hate karaoke. I cannot stand it. If karaoke starts, I run out the room. I hate it, hate it, hate it.
7. What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
SS: Read more. And stop eating so many donuts. And samosas. And sausage rolls.
8. What's your favourite pizza topping?
SS: I don't like pizza. It's really weird, I know. The only pizza I like has seafood on it, like tuna.
Me too! And people think it's really strange.
SS: People think it's so strange but it's not. It tastes amazing.
9. What's your favourite song by another artist?
SS: My favourite song of all time is Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." I think the lyrics are some of the best ever written.
10. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
SS: Number one: for my family and friends to be happy until the day they die, and that they live a long life. Number two: to be able to eat cheese and not put on weight. And number three: to be able to give yourself orgasms whenever you want. Like, to be able to click your fingers and you feel an orgasm, without any of the work.
11. What's the last thing you splurged on?
SS: Probably some clothes. I don't really spend a lot of money on "things." I bought a house, which was a big thing, but other than that it's generally just food. I spend a lot of money on food.
12. What's your worst habit?
SS: Biting my nails. And occasionally smoking, but I'm stopping that.
13. Where's your favourite place to go on holiday?
SS: Italy. I love anywhere in Italy. I love Tuscany; I love the food and the people are so kind. I love it.
14. What's the wallpaper on your phone?
SS: It's a Chuck Close image that I saw in a gallery last year. It inspired my album cover, so I keep it on there.
15. Do you read the comments on your social media profiles?
SS: Yes, I do. I read the comments on my Instagram and on my Twitter. They're mainly really nice. But last week I typed my name into the search bar on Twitter and a whole lot of stuff came up. I'll never do that again. Because when they don't tag you, they say weird shit. I see vicious stuff all the time, but it doesn't bother me.
16. Puppies or kittens?
17. What's guaranteed to make you happy?
SS: A really good hug. A really, really good hug makes me super happy. When people stay there for a while.
Yeah, not like that back-slapping thing people do when they've had enough.
SS: Oh my god, that's a pet peeve. My dad does that. He hugs me and slaps me on the back, and I'm just, like, no.
18. Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?
SS: Life. It comes from people, and love, and loss. Everything around me that I see every day.
19. Have you ever had writer's block?
SS: I haven't had it yet. Maybe it's something I'll experience in the future. I hope it isn't. I haven't had it yet. I've got too much to say.
20. What's your favourite thing to do on a day off?
SS: Order Nando's and sit in my pants and catch up on Bake Off.
21. What's your biggest pet peeve?
SS: I have so many. I hate it when people talk when there's food trapped in their throat. My assistant Andrea does it. She speaks when she's got a full face of food.
22. What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
SS: I'm straight [bursts out laughing]. I'm joking! I pretty much lay everything on the table [thinks for a while]. I hate feet. I really, really hate feet. And I just wish everyone had hooves.
23. And finally, what's the biggest "pinch yourself" moment you've had in your career so far?
SS: I think it was probably spending time with Elton John in his house in Nice for a few days when I was doing my Attitude [magazine] cover. It was a really amazing experience. To have a one-on-one with somebody like that was just incredible.
Thanks for dropping by and letting us learn more about you, Sam!
Sam's new album, The Thrill of It All, is out now and available to buy here.
Joni Mitchell wrote Sam Smith's favourite song, "A Case of You." An earlier version of this post misidentified the songwriter.