The pain writhing through Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover” just got even more piercing, because the whole thing is true.
Smith all but confirmed his sexuality earlier this week when he released the equally crestfallen video for “Leave Your Lover,” and in a new interview with The FADER, he finally comes out an says it: For some time now, he’s been deeply in love with a man who never loved him back.
“I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve only been in unrequited relationships where people haven’t loved me back. I guess I’m a little bit attracted to that in a bad way,” he told the magazine in the June/July issue. “In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place.”
The video captures that dark place quite beautifully. Smith is caught in a gut-wrenching love triangle with close friends — one man, one woman — and by the end of the clip, it becomes clear that it’s “him” who he’s been pining for all along. But despite all that heartache, Smith has been open with him, even admitting that the track is about him.
“I told him about it recently, and obviously it was never going to go the way I wanted it to go, because he doesn’t love me,” he said. “But it was good as a form of closure, to get it off my chest and tell him. I feel better for it. I feel almost like I signed off this part of my life where I keep giving myself to guys who are never going to love me back.”
As for the curiosity surrounding his sexuality, and how this may affect the way people view him, Smith admitted that while it should really all be about the music, he knows it will be hard to get out of that “box.”
“In the short time I’ve lived on this Earth, all I’ve seen are boxes. People put things in boxes; it makes it easier to digest information,” he said. “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… It shouldn’t be an issue, but it will be an issue. It’s always an issue.”