Sam Smith And Future Islands Perform On ‘Austin City Limits’: Watch The Full Episode

Christina Lee | January 18, 2015 9:12 am
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Sam Smith charms the crowd in the latest, January 17 episode of PBS’s Austin City Limits. During his 25-minute set, the young British vocalist transitioned from “Together,” his funk-inspired collaboration with Disclosure and Nile Rodgers, to his cover of Whitney Houston‘s “How Will I Know.”

Just as he did when he debuted his version last summer, Smith transformed Houston’s 1985 dance-pop single into a piano ballad — showing how he’d eventually land on his own style, after years of studying Houston’s and Mariah Carey‘s voices.

“I was so obsessed with Whitney Houston,” Smith said in a promo interview for the episode. “I was so sad when my mum and dad told me that my balls were gonna drop. And when they told me my voice was going to break, I remember crying and nearly going crazy. I trained as hard as I could to sing the highest songs I could sing. I think Mariah brought out a record during that time and I just sang it every day.”

Smith shares the Austin City Limits bill with Baltimore’s Future Islands, the Baltimore indie rock band who became an in-demand festival act following its awe-inspiring Letterman performance of (Idolator favorite) “Seasons (Waiting for You).” Watch the full episode up top, then see Smith talk obsessing over Whitney and Mariah below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.