Sam Smith joins the ranks of modern British Invasion artists

A connoisseur of perfectly coiffed hair and heartwarming soprano vocals, Sam Smith has become a staple in American Top 40 radio.

The 22-year-old London artist gained popularity on the British music scene when he was featured on Disclosure’s “Latch” in December 2012. Music fans fell in love with his musical range and passion. In late 2013, Smith emerged on the American music scene.

Audiences at music festivals and in dance clubs across the country forced “Latch” and “La La La” by Naughty Boy, featuring Smith, into high demand. His airplay grew rapidly, and Sam Smith has risen to the top of American and world music charts within recent months.

On May 26, Smith debuted “In the Lonely Hour.” His album showcases his wide range and awe-inspiring vocal ability. Meanwhile, his musical style combines and weaves pop-synth vibes with a bit of revamped ’90s flair.

Smith establishes his personality and musical passion with his opening track, “Money on My Mind.” With each chorus he emphasizes the fact that he writes his music for love and not for monetary graces. The music behind the lyrics plays similar to “La La La,” Smith’s collaborative effort with Naughty Boy.

Following the upbeat introductory tune, Smith pours his heart out with pop-style ballads such as “Make It To Me” and the hit “Stay With Me”.

Sam Smith puts a face to a featured artist of electronic music, and embodies another facet of the modern British invasion. Musical acts such as Ed Sheeran and One Direction have risen in popularity in the past few years, sparking what seems to be an influx of British artists, a second, welcomed invasion.

In an MTV interview, Smith was celebrated as one of the only homosexual artists in the music scene. However, it is not his sexuality that should or will set him apart from other musical artists. His intense passion and ability to identify with audiences of differing musical interests will be his praise and presence in the music world.

Whether or not there will be more artists from this British Invasion is to be determined. Even so, Sam Smith has made his mark on the music industry.

Reach the reporter at arabusa@asu.edu or on follow her on Twitter @marie_eo.