Monday, December 8, 2014 10:32am ET by  
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Sam Smith on his success: 'Critics were just waiting to pull me down'

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith has opened up about his impressive rise to fame in a new interview with Digital Spy and confessed that the speed of his success was surprising. 

Speaking about being dubbed 'the next big thing' and winning the BRITs Critics' Choice Award, the 'Stay With Me' sensation admitted that he tried not to let himself feel stressed out by the attention and praise because he didn't want to get ahead of himself:

"I never, ever felt pressure from it. I never allowed myself to do so. And even if I did, I would never have said it out loud, and I still won't. I wanted that award so bad because I wanted this album to get the best possible release that it could get. I knew that getting that award, and getting the BBC Sound Of poll as well, meant it was going to reach an audience that it wouldn't have if I didn't get them. I was very focussed on the fact that this was a good thing. In terms of being knocked off a pedestal, I do understand what you are saying, actually."

The star went onto add that he felt as though critics were waiting for something to find fault in and they were poised, ready to 'pull him down': 

"I remember my first Shepherd's Bush Empire gig, and at that point I'd had two number-one singles, the Critics' Choice Award and the Sound poll, and critics were just waiting to pull me down. At first, that made me upset, but as I've been doing this for the past year, I've started to realise that you're never going to please critics because they're not Sam Smith fans. The only people you can really impress are those who really want to come and see you play. The majority of critics are being paid to watch you perform, they don't actually want to see you sing, so I can't expect them to like me."

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Watch Smith perform a cover of a Christmas classic here: