* indicates required
Okayplayer News

To continue reading

Create a free account or sign in to unlock more free articles.

Already have an account?

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Sam Smith Covers Whitney Houston's Legendary "How Will I Know"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Sam Smith asks "How will I know if you really love me?" and to answer his question - this cover of the Whitney Houston classic  is how we know. After recently dropping his new record In The Lonely Hour Smith has a whole catalog of beautifully composed ballads that genuinely document unrequited love and the affirmation of love. The album, which has been compared to Nora Jones' Come Away With Me and Adele's 19 has Smith carrying his entire soul in each note. That being said, covering Houston still seems like a daunting task, even for a vocalist of Smith's caliber. The original recording showcased Whitney circa '85 energetically delivering lines with a conviction that Smith taps in to. The reason no one is complaining about this cover is because there is no sign of fear. Smith replaces doubt, worry, and ego with raw emotion - feeling the song for what it is.

When you take apart the lyrics of "How Will I Know," you can see why it makes so much sense to slow it down. In a very Sam Smith way he takes the songs question and wraps it around his poised and airy vocal style, packing it with emotion. Feeling an almost crippling love for someone and not knowing if it's being reciprocated is a theme Smith tackles effortlessly in In The Lonely Hour probably because of the personal relationships that he transforms into universal truths. Whitney will always be seen as untouchable - as she should. However, if there is someone of this generation of pop that we'd like to hear covering classics it's Sam Smith. The cover was originally heard on an episode of Grey's Anatomy and Smith took the full version to radio live at Sirius XM. While we will forever kick it old school with Whitney (and the epic video she shot for "How Will I Know" that can basically define the era), we don't mind slowing it down with Smith. Watch Sam Smith's live rendition of "How Will I Know" below.