Sam Smith has said watching Ed Sheeran over the past year has been “incredible” but added it has made him “hungry” for his own success.
The Stay With Me singer, 25, was interviewed by Sir Elton John for the October issue of Attitude magazine.
Smith released his first new music in two years, a single titled Too Good At Goodbyes, on September 8.
Sir Elton said Smith and Sheeran’s friendship reminded him of his own one with Sir Rod Stewart back in the day.
He told Smith: “Rod and I were competitive with each other, and that’s healthy because it drives you, but we loved and supported each other, too. I think perhaps you and Ed Sheeran are the same way. You’re the new Rod and me!”
“But you do both love each other, both admire each other and are going through the same thing as each other, at the same age.”
Smith added: “Of course, we help each other up.”
Responding to Sir Elton’s point that “jealousy is horrible, but competition is not”, Smith said: “It makes you push yourself. Watching him this past year has just been incredible, but yeah, of course it makes me hungry.”
Too Good At Goodbyes is the first new music from Smith since the release of the James Bond theme song Writing’s On The Wall in 2015.
Discussing the song in the Attitude Magazine interview, Sir Elton revealed he has never been asked to do a Bond theme tune.
“I’m too old now,” he quipped, adding: “There was one song on the Ice On Fire album Shoot Down The Moon, which I thought would be a beautiful Bond theme at the time.
“They have diversified over the years, but it’s for young people now to write one, that’s the direction they’ve gone.”
Smith’s debut album In The Lonely Hour was released three years ago.
Talking to Sir Elton, who describes Smith’s second album as “warm and sexy”, Smith revealed: “There was a period, when making the record, that I was in a really bad place. I got dumped, which wasn’t very nice.
“Writing music about that kind of thing is normally like therapy for me, but when I got dumped this time round I just couldn’t write for about two months.
“My team had to force me to get into the studio, because I almost felt as if I didn’t want to do it any more. So, there were moments on there where it got a bit intense and I started to lose myself.”
Smith will perform for the Elton John Aids Foundation in a special London performance on November 29.
:: The October issue of Attitude Magazine is available from September 14.