Sam Smith is nothing if not an old soul. Not only is his debut album In The Lonely Hour an instant classic, with heartbreaking anthems like "Stay With Me" and "I'm Not The Only One," but he's got an elegance about him that seems like it's from another era - and he's aware of that. In a new interview with GQ, Smith opens up about his desire for another time, strive for perfection and his surprising love for one very modern pop star, Taylor Swift.
In the new interview, which will appear in the Feb. 2015 issue of GQ, Smith admits that he almost wishes he was around in the Rat Pack days, singing alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra.
"I envy the competition that people like Sinatra would have had-you know, the people that he'd be standing on the stage with-because you could tell he was working off them. I need a Rat Pack, I really do. I should start one up," he said.
But that's not the only thing Smith liked about "back in the day." Echoing his earlier statements about disliking Tinder and Internet dating, Smith pined for the good ol' days, when guys were guys and ladies were dames.
"I feel like class and romance have gotten lost. We've become a bit lazy, not just in terms of music. I miss the days when girls would wear full long dresses and just stand onstage and sing," he said, making his throwback blue-eyed soul make even more sense. "That's what I'm trying to bring back: that timeless element. I want to create music that people will be listening to in fifty years, you know?"
Smith was also candid about his ambition, saying that he not only wanted to be the biggest pop star in the world, but he wanted to become timeless and a legend. He admitted that he's almost a bit too ambitious and began having panic attacks at the age of 12 because he needed to know his exact life plan.
But, it's not all blind ambition and pining for the old days for Smith. He also finds love in some new things, like popular culture and the mega-2015 pop star Taylor Swift. "She's a role model. I really respect her. And she manages to sell a lot of records and make a lot of people happy financially, but also to keep that soulfulness, that honesty," he said about the "Blank Space" singer.
Despite his penchant for all things classy, Smith insists that there's one thing about the Rat Pack era that he shies away from: being a diva.
"I'd like to be a diva in the sense of having that kind of presence as a singer. But no. I worry all the time, actually, if I've been a bit strict about something, am I being a dickhead? I tell my team all the time: Just tell me if I'm being a dickhead," he said.
And someone has to keep his ego in check - Smith does lead the 2015 Grammy nominations, after all.