TV talent competitions provide a good platform for singers but are bad for singer-songwriters, says ‘In The Lonely Hour’ star
elevised talent contests like The Voice and The X Factor may be hugely popular with viewers and pop buyers but, says Sam Smith, entering them is a temptation aspiring songwriters should avoid. Speaking to UK tabloid The Mirror, Smith said that he opted against auditioning himself, earlier in his career, as he felt such shows can be “damaging”.
“I feel that X Factor is perfect for singers who sing, and that’s all they want to do,” he said. “They don’t care what they sing, they just love singing. You could sing on a cruise ship or release a cover album, that’s what it’s for. Because when you think about it, every week, that’s what you do.You’re singing other people’s songs. People are judging you on other people’s music.
“The minute I started writing music,” Smith continued, “I knew that none of that stuff was going to be for me. I want people judging me on my voice and my songs – that’s what’s important to me. I always say to people: ‘If you’re a singer, go for it.’ It’s an amazing platform. But if you’re not, and you’re a songwriter, I think it’s actually quite damaging for you to go on there.”
In the same interview, Smith said he has no interest in becoming a judge on such shows, either… but may do later in his career when he feels he has more to offer.