Smith sings extensively about love and relationship on the album, though as he admitted to The FADER, “I’ve never been in a relationship before.” Instead In The Lonely Hour is inspired by “unrequited relationships,” specifically “a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back.” Smith continued: “I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn’t felt love before. I’ve felt the bad things. And what’s a more powerful emotion: pain or happiness?”
In regards to his sexuality, Smith said he is “comfortable with myself, and my life is amazing in that respect. I’m very comfortable and happy with everything. I just wanted to talk about him and have it out there.”
I’ve been treated as normal as anyone in my life; I’ve had no issues. I do know that some people have issues in life, but I haven’t, and it’s as normal as my right arm. I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue. People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions. I’ve tried to be clever with this album, because it’s also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody— whether it’s a guy, a female or a goat—and everybody can relate to that. I’m not in this industry to talk about my personal life unless it’s in a musical form.
Asked why he thought so many people were curious about his sexuality, Smith responded:
I’ve lived on this Earth, all I’ve seen are boxes. People put things in boxes; it makes it easier to digest information. People say I’m the new Adele. Why is [gender] a talking point? I’m singing, I’m making music, I’m performing my music—that’s what should be the talking point. If I come on record and start speaking about it in an interview, then mark my words, that’s your time to chip in; I’ve given you the passcode to my business and to my personal life. But I am an artist, and in inter- views, speaking like this, it’s not my idea of art; it’s just my idea of exchange, talking human to human. It shouldn’t be an issue, but it will be an issue. It’s always an issue.
In The Lonely Hour arrives June 17th via Capitol, which he’ll support with a North American tour later this year. Below, watch Smith’s new video for “Leave Your Lover”, which deals with many of the aforementioned themes.