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Sam Smith Delivers One of the Best VMA Performances of the Night With Soulful 'Stay With Me' - WATCH

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At tonight's MTV Video Music Awards, Sam Smith delivered a soulful, stripped-down rendition of his hit "Stay With Me." Armed with just a backup piano and his voice, Smith was able to get the entire crowd (Kim Kardashian included) to sway to the beat.

Check out the swoon-worthy performance, AFTER THE JUMP...

The music video for the song was nominated for "Best Male Video" while Smith himself was nominated for "Artist to Watch." Neither award went to Smith. 

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Sam Smith Facing Backlash Over His Dismissal of Grindr, Tinder

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Since coming out as gay earlier this year Sam Smith has stepped into the cultural spotlight for reasons other than his singing voice. Smith, 22, made a name for himself channeling memories of unrequited loved into his debut album In The Lonely Hour, describing the record as “a diary from a lonely 21-year-old.”

“It was my way of talking about the only real issue in my life.” Smith explained to Digital Spy. “I fell in love with someone who didn't love me back, and it made me get into this head space of Will I find love?”

Since May, and the meteoric rise of his album, Smith has reportedly continued his search for true love as young artists are wont to do. A traditionalist at heart, however, Smith has made a point of condemning the use matchmaking and hook up apps to find a lasting connection. Smith, who is now dating, describes having met his new beau the “proper way,” a sentiment that has left some of his mans a bit miffed. Given Smith’s status as a freshly minted icon, Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak and The Wire’s Kevin O’Keefe took the singer to task for his dismissal of what they consider to be a rather substantial aspect of modern gay culture.

More than just preferring traditional face to face interaction, O’Keefe argues, Smith is making an implicit condemnation of forms of gay culture that might not necessarily be considered as “normal.”

“As a gay singer, it's not a stretch to imagine much of Smith's potential fanbase does use Grindr, Tinder, etc.” O’Keefe lays out in a lengthy essay. “Sure, he shouldn't pander to them if he doesn't agree with what they're doing, but to essentially wag his finger and say "naughty, naughty" seems like bad PR.”

In Juzwiak’s opinion, Smith’s posturing of himself in opposition to men interested in exploring newer ways to connect with one another smacks both of mild technophobia and cliched gay respectability politics:

"[T]here is a different experience to be had, one that is just as real as the painful one Smith implies, one without pathology or grief. Apps don't necessarily ruin communication; they fix it for people who are too nervous to approach people in public. Or they just make it easier to get sex when you want sex.”

Smith’s words, given that he’s a young, rising star openly identifying himself as gay, carry an added layer of significance not just for his fans, but also to the industry mechanics that ultimately decide what kind of artist’s projects get greenlit. Smith incorporates the very real themes of gay love, loss, and longing into his music and videos, which is an undeniable sign of progress. That progress is undercut, however, when those themes are come along with caveats that devalue certain forms of intimate connection in favor of others.

Watch Sam Smith's interview with Fresh 102.7 discuss his coming out AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sam Smith Reportedly In Talks to Record Next 'James Bond' Theme Song

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British singer-songwriter Sam Smith is in talks with MGM to record the theme for next year's James Bond film, according to the British tabloid The Sun.  

Music Times reports:

The In the Lonely Hour singer is the lead pick for the Daniel Craig-starring film's theme song, following reports that Adele rejected the initial offer to record the title track. Of course, she was a big part of the 2012 Bond film Skyfall, having recorded the track of the same name.

A source at MGM stated, "Sam is our top choice. He has the profile, cool image and an astonishing voice to record a Bond theme," in the Sun report.

The film, tentatively titled Bond 24, stars Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Rory Kinnear. The film is scheduled for release November 6, 2015. 

And if you missed last week's video for Smith's latest stunning single "I'm Not the Only One," you can check it out AFTER THE JUMP...

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The OXD Mirror: Vocal Bliss From UK Newcomer Moko and More

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BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / JOSH APPELBAUM

Triphop is an often-forgotten subgenre of dance music that fuses breakbeats, soul, funk, and jazz influences.  Artists like Massive Attack and Tricky have established careers by infusing this genre into their production for artists like Bjork, Madonna, and Everything But The Girl.  Moko is a newcomer to the music industry, breaking through in the UK last year by performing with Neneh Cherry on Boiler Room TV and subsequently signing to MTA records in July 2013. 

Moko: 'Ceremony'

The London native got her start singing in church, and spent some time singing in London Community Gospel Choir before finishing university.  'Ceremony' is the second single from her forthcoming sophomore EP, Gold.  Despite being a newcomer, Moko sounds like a seasoned professional, with rich vocals that complement the ebbs and flows of the song's beats.  Her career is set to blow up in the coming months, so be on the watch out for her!

Another banger from Moko, and more new tracks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Disclosure and Sam Smith Bring 'Latch' to Jimmy Kimmel: VIDEO

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British garage-house duo Disclosure and Sam Smith brought their jazzy hit "Latch" to Jimmy Kimmel last night. "Latch" is currently #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Infidelity Starts A Fire In Sam Smith’s ‘I’m Not The Only One’ - VIDEO

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Gay crooner Sam Smith presents a tale of passion, heartbreak and revenge in the video for his song “I’m Not The Only One.”

It’s a heterosexual heartbreak, but with smeared mascara, backroom banging and a Waiting to Exhale moment with wifey-poo burning the cheater’s clothes on the lawn. The video ends on a curious note, making it defy expectations despite its hackneyed plot.

Plus, anyone who has ever felt suspicious or angry over a cheating lover can totally relate.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

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