V’s “Discovery” issue typically features new art, fashion, faces and perspectives that are shaping today’s dynamic cultural landscape, with the magazine choosing the “Too Good at Goodbyes” singer because of his disarming honesty about his sexuality, sense of self and fame. “He’s exactly the voice of freedom we need right now,” the publication noted in a statement.
Interviewed by friend and long-time fan Sarah Jessica Parker, Smith opens up about his evolving sound and personal journey through love and loss while exploring his sexual identity. “In the past few years, I became a gay man properly,” the 25-year-old said. “When I wrote that first album, I was in love with a straight man; he didn’t love me back, and I was very comfortable in my longing. With this record, I became a gay man.”
Smith opened up about his struggles with body image as well. “How comfortable are you feeling on camera today versus two years ago?” SJP asked, to which Smith replied: “It’s completely different. I think that’s come with me losing weight. When I was shooting my first music videos, I just wasn’t happy with the way I looked, so I was trying to control the way the camera moved. I got a bit obsessive. I was constantly looking in the mirror, pinching my waist, weighing myself every day. Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I really love my stretch marks and I just enjoy my body.”
The London native also shared his honest yet hopeful mindset for the future. “It’s exciting seeing people walking the streets and fighting for what they believe in. It’s nice to see people protesting — that excites me,” he said. “On a personal level, I’m in a relationship right now and for the first time, I think I deserve to be happy. I’m actually asking myself if I’m going to be writing some happy love songs soon.”
Photographed by Nicola Formichetti and styled by Anna Trevelyan, Smith dons Clare Waight Keller’s first collection for Givenchy. Rising supermodel Grace Elizabeth joins the musician on the cover, while Kendall Jenner also makes an appearance in the issue.
Check out the cover below: