Sam Smith likes to push boundaries. But if you thought the music video for their first single “Unholy” was the limit, that’s just the tip of the artistic iceberg. With the release of their new album, GloriaSmith turned his attention to the supporting music video starting with his latest single “I’m Not Here to Make Friends,” which stars Jesse Reyes and Calvin Harris.
It was initially derided, but in November, raucous dance music was Smith’s way of asserting that those who sang along were also sexual beings, and that their needs for intimacy would no longer be ignored, as they repeatedly sang, “Because I’m not here to fuck.” Friend’s/No, I’m not here to make friends/Because I’m not here to make friends/I need a lover, I need a lover.”
Discussing the inspiration behind the song, the singer told TV host Graham Norton, “I’m dating this guy and he’s just — people friend circle me a lot. I went to the studio the next day and I said , ‘I’m done. I have enough friends. I don’t need any more friends. So this song is about that.”
Smith’s request is also at the heart of the track’s official music video, directed by the director TanumuinoFilmed inside King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court castle in East Mosey, England, Smith refused to shrink himself to fit the authoritarian state’s standards of decency. With designer Christian Cowan’s bespoke wardrobe, Smith was sure to be the belle of the ball.
From dancing on the piano to swinging on Chandler, Smith will no longer go unnoticed. Smith may not be a drag performer, but the video opens with drag queen RuPaul reciting his quotes and posing in the (La) tribe Starring dancers Rio Allison (from The Allison Brothers), Sakeema Peng Crook and Daniel Alwell.
Yes, Smith can sing a breathtaking ballad, but when they sing, “I’m just telling the truth, baby, I just need a buddy when the lights come on / Thirty almost got me, I’ve heard it all Love Song,” which is not what this track is about, as they rebel against the constraints of their early careers. The British press wasn’t too pleased with Smith’s new video, but Smith fully embraced the backlash they received from the video, telling Graham Norton, “It’s the best headline I’ve ever received.”
Despite what the video portrayed, they countered, “Nothing nasty happened. It’s not surprising,” adding, “Stranger things happened in that castle. Honestly.”
If this level of raucousness is everywhere in Smith’s music videos, imagine what their upcoming experience will be like Gloria The tour will be presented.
Watch the full video above.
Gloria Released now through Columbia Records. Stream or buy here.