Sam Smith’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, is out in the UK now and coming to America in June. Ever since early success with songs like “Latch” and “Lay Me Down,” it’s been clear that Smith’s voice was made to be heard by the masses, and his album is delivering on the promise of potential. He killed it on SNL, released a powerful video for “Leave Your Lover,” and with all the public interest comes a bright and persistent spotlight.

In an interview with The Fader, Sam Smith speaks openly about the inspiration for his debut album, sexuality, and fame. Read below.

On what In the Lonely Hour is about:

I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve only been in unrequited relationships where people haven’t loved me back. I guess I’m a little bit attracted to that in a bad way. In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn’t felt love before. I’ve felt the bad things. And what’s a more powerful emotion: pain or happiness?

On coming out publicly and making the album relatable:

I am comfortable with myself, and my life is amazing in that respect. I’m very comfortable and happy with everything. I just wanted to talk about him and have it out there. It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know—I want to be clear that that’s what it’s about. I’ve been treated as normal as anyone in my life; I’ve had no issues. I do know that some people have issues in life, but I haven’t, and it’s as normal as my right arm. I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue. People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions. I’ve tried to be clever with this album, because it’s also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody— whether it’s a guy, a female or a goat—and everybody can relate to that. I’m not in this industry to talk about my personal life unless it’s in a musical form.

Read the entire interview here.