Artists

Sam Smith

United Kingdom

Thursday 18. 7.22:30-00:00

Česká spořitelna stage

One of the brightest faces of contemporary pop music will visit the Czech Republic for the first time. The star Sam Smith, who after the release of their debut In The Lonely Hour became voice of love's exiles, will shake Ostrava with their lavish, extravagant musical show. In it, they will present themselves in a completely new, bolder and sovereign form.

Over their decade-long career, audiences have watched Sam Smith's work conquer the rollercoaster of passionate love, interspersed with a sense of separation and reconciliation with the discomforting feeling of loneliness and rejection. While their first three records resembled battles with their own demons in which a sense of hope is short-lived, on their latest Gloria they lay down their arms.

Their latest record heralds a more positive phase in Smith's work. Whereas up until now they've sought tenderness in the arms of another person, Gloria offers a safe, warm haven in self-love and acceptance of their own shortcomings. With all the emotional outpouring put into their voice, Smith paints tomorrows in warmer colors that embolden not only them, but the community as well.

"No one knows who I am. But most people in this country have heard me sing," said the aspiring singer from a small East Anglian village in 2013. Now a five-time winner of the prestigious Grammy Award, Sam Smith probably doesn't have to worry about recognition. Over a decade-long career, the musician has managed to establish a solid position on the international pop scene through his chart-topping hits like Stay with Me and Too Good at Goodbyes. They also rose to prominence with the song Writing's on the Wall for the Bond film Spectre, for which they won the Academy Award for Best Film Song in 2016. But this year's fourth album, Gloria, heralded a big break in Smith's persona. Nostalgic ballads devoted to unfulfilled loves have been partly replaced with dancehall-inspired tracks in which self-love and validation of one's gender identity play major roles.

When Smith announced on his Instagram account in 2019, just before the release of his third album Love Goes, that "after years of struggling with my own gender identity, I've decided to embrace it with all that it entails," he received a warm reception from many sides of the non-binary/trans community. The singer was praised for their move to contribute "to the visibility of non-binary people" in the public sphere. Thus, Smith's transformation does not merely reflect a move towards bolder self-presentation in the public space. In contrast to their previous work, their new piece Gloria is much more committed to supporting the rights of sexual and gender minorities and more openly thematizes queer/trans sexuality. With the track Unholy, Smith and trans musician Kim Petras became the first non-binary/trans people to top America's most prestigious music chart, the Billboard Hot 100.

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