Hot on the heels of their phenomenal SNL (Saturday Night Live) appearance, award-winning British artist Sam Smith unleashes their fourth studio album, Gloria. In celebration of their hotly-awaited album, they share the flamboyant visuals for the Calvin Harris-produced, ‘I’m Not Here To Make Friends’. Directed by Tanu Muino (Lil Nas X, Harry Styles, Normani), the music video for ‘I’m Not Here To Make Friends’, sees Sam as a vision in pink (custom made by Tomo Koizumi), as they arrive in style - stepping out of a gold helicopter and greeted by a Bacchanalian-inspired celebration.
Hedonistic, thrilling and compelling, we witness Sam in their element as they take over a country house filled with revelry at every corner, fully embracing their moment. The visuals see Sam going full wrecking ball as they swing from a grand chandelier whilst the track crescendos, and party-goers fawn around them. An allegory for unapologetic individuality, the visuals denote freedom, joy and self-expression, a canny introduction to the overarching theme of the album to come.
Gloria is not only a creative revelation but something of a personal one, too. It’s the sound of constricting shackles crashing to the floor, of boundaries joyfully breached, of a still-searching talent discovering what it means to be truly free – to be in touch with their innermost self. A creative challenge for the celebrated hitmaker, Sam set out to craft the opposite of a heartbreak album; they wanted to construct the armor they craved when growing up, the record they wished they had to accompany their formative years. Gloria leans on some celebrated female figures from Sam’s musical world (Jessie Reyez, Kim Petras, Koffee), as well as exploring themes of sex, passion, self-expression and imperfection.
The album’s title is not a nod to a person, past or present, but to that bristling, enigmatic life force, which Smith has christened, Gloria. When speaking about their album Sam explains: “Gloria is also a celebration of all the genres and all the female divas, vocalists and pop writers that I love. I harnessed all those memories and put them into one album. And I wanted to be defiant. My diva album? I think so! I think I’ve finally let my Gloria out.” Long-term collaborators Jimmy Napes, Stargate and Max Martin stablemate ILYA further helped fuel the 13-track album which boldly weaves between glitterball electro pop, glorious melodic reverie, Jamaican dancehall freak-pop, exquisite piano balladry and a choir-sung hymn.
Featuring recent dancehall-tinged offering ‘Gimme’ with Colombian-Canadian R&B singer songwriter Jessie Reyez and Jamaican reggae star Koffee, Gloria also boasts the gut-wrenching ‘Who We Love’ with Ed Sheeran, the euphoric dance floor staple, ‘Lose You’, a beautiful lullaby ‘Gloria’ and the global behemoth, ‘Unholy’ featuring Kim Petras.
‘Unholy’ is Sam’s eighth #1 hit, garnering just under 2 Billion streams worldwide. The record was Sam's first Billboard Hot 100 #1, making history with collaborator Kim Petras as the first non-binary and transgender artists to land on the top spot. It has been nominated for a GRAMMY, and remained on #1 on the Spotify and Apple Music global charts for over 4 weeks following its release. Sam is amongst only three other global artists who debuted at #1 on the UK Official Charts in 2022; holding 4 weeks at the top.
Multi-Platinum, GRAMMY®, BRIT, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist/songwriter Sam Smith is one of the most celebrated musical artists to emerge in recent history, and holds a collection of remarkable successes. Gloria is Sam’s fourth studio album and will build on the success of their critically acclaimed 2020 predecessor, Love Goes. Sam Smith has enjoyed 38 million album sales, 283 million single sales and 51 billion career streams. Their multi-platinum debut album In the Lonely Hour became the biggest selling debut album of the decade.
Sam and their exceptional vocals have collaborated with artists such as Calvin Harris on international smash ‘Promises’, Normani with the much-loved R&B hit ‘Dancing With A Stranger’ and the African superstar Burna Boy for ‘My Oasis’. Sam Smith holds two Guinness World Records – for the most consecutive weeks in the UK Top 10 Album Chart (for their 2014 debut, In The Lonely Hour) and for having the first James Bond Theme to reach No.1 on the UK Charts (for the Oscar and Golden Globe winning “Writing’s on the Wall”). Sam will kick off their world tour in the UK and host two nights in London's O2 Arena, traveling across Europe and bringing their UK & EU tour to a close in Manchester's AO Arena. Continuing to take Gloria across the globe, Sam will perform in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Gloria is Sam’s most confident and creatively fulfilled version of themselves to date. Their courageous spirit overflows throughout the album, expressive and exuberant in equal measure. The juxtaposition of religion and sexual liberation within Gloria feels like a second coming of age, as they step into their truth.
Gloria is available now in Black LP, and Irish Retail Exclusive Gold LP via The Record Hub