Sam Smith likes to push boundaries. But if you thought the music video for their #1 single “Unholy” was a limitation, that was only the tip of the artistic iceberg. With the release of their new album, GloriaSmith has turned his attention to dropping supporting music videos, starting with his latest single “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” featuring Jessie Reyes and Calvin Harris.
Initially teased, but the dance track that made headlines back in November, the way Smith tells it, the singers are also sexual creatures and their need for intimacy is no longer ignored as they repeatedly sing, “’Cause I’m not here to make friends. / No, I didn’t come here to make friends / ‘Cause I didn’t come here to make friends / I need a lover, I need a lover.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, the singer told TV host Graham Norton: “I went on a date with this guy and he just — people friend-zoned me on a lot of dates. The next day I went to the studio and I was like, “I’m sick of it. I have enough friends. I don’t need any more friends.’ That’s what the song is about.”
Smith’s claim to desirability is the basis of the track’s official music video Tanu Muino. Filmed at King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey, United Kingdom, Smith refuses to humble himself to meet the venerable standards of the monarchy. With a bespoke wardrobe by designer Christian Cowan, Smith is undoubtedly the waist of the ball.
From dancing on the piano to swinging in the chandeliers, Smith is no longer out of the spotlight. Smith may not be a drag performer, but the video opens with drag queen RuPaul reciting her famous quote, and there are several cameos sprinkled in epic dance numbers choreographed by them. (La) Horde and starring dancers Rio Ellison (of The Ellison Brothers), Sakema Peng Crook and Daniel Alwell.
Yes, the Smiths can deliver a haunting ballad, but they’re like, “Honestly, baby, when the lights come on I need a partner/Thirty almost got me and I’m so over love songs” This isn’t a track because they’re ditching early career pigeonholing. The UK media isn’t too happy about Smith’s new video, but Smith has embraced the backlash he’s received from the video, telling Graham Norton: “It was the best headline I’ve ever had.”
Regardless of what the video showed, they said, “Nothing happened. it wasn’t surprising,” adding, “there were more interesting things in this castle. Let’s be honest,” he answered.
If Smith’s music videos have this level of passion, imagine what they’re in store for in the future. Gloria offers a tour.
Watch the full video above.
Gloria out now via Columbia Records. Stream or buy it here.