Sam Smith Cover of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" Is Perfectly Minimal — VIDEO
He seemingly came out of nowhere to dominate pop charts and break our hearts. Now, Sam Smith's Whitney Houston cover for SiriusXM has slayed us all over again. Covering Whitney is always a bold choice, but Smith was, as usual, up to the challenge. His soulful vocals perfectly captured the yearning in "How Will I Know," and his stylistic choice to go minimal with the pop classic was daring, but it works.
It's refreshing to see a male singer cover a soulful female song. Smith has named Beyoncé and Amy Winehouse as his musical role models, and it shows. One of the best parts of Smith's music is that he's not afraid to let his emotions into his voice, resulting in a perfectly imperfect and soulful sound.
Just watching his face as he performs, you can tell how much he's feeling it. Smith chose not to embrace the pop of the original, but instead stripped it down to his voice and a keyboard, transforming an upbeat song into a ballad. The emotions, however, remain the same. It's difficult to touch a classic like "How Will I Know," but Smith does an admirable job.
Listen to Smith cover Houston's "How Will I Know" here: