Every time we hear about a singer’s cover going viral online, we’re always a little hesitant. It can either be a great imitation (like Selah Marley covering her mom, Lauryn Hill’s hits) or it can be a terrifying experience that totally traumatizes us for life (we won’t name names). Fortunately, British singer Sam Smith’s cover of Whitney Houston’s iconic 1985 hit “How Will I Know” is pretty fantastic.
The soulful singer — who you might know from lending his vocals to the uptempo hit “Latch” – slowed down the late singer’s track with a pianist and guitarist helping him in the studio. He even added in the “oohhs” and “aahhs” that had us wanting more! The cover was recently featured during an episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and the Internet is currently going wild over it.
Smith says he personally chose to tone down Whitney’s upbeat song because the original hit makes him happy. “I love the juxtaposition of a melancholy lyric with an upbeat sound,” he told Us Weekly. “People forget that’s how she rose to fame. The more mature Whitney, like ‘I Will Always Love You,’ came later.”
This is definitely a surprise for those of us who remember the fun-loving song along with the video of Whitney decked out in ’80s pink realness. Get into Sam’s cover in the video above.