“Who We Love” by Sam Smith & Ed Sheeran
These days, when it comes to following your heart in a romantic context, most songs which touch upon such a topic may express some caution or regret in terms of letting yourself go like that. But that is not the case with “Who We Love”, whereas Sam and Ed are basically arguing otherwise.
“WE LOVE WHO WE LOVE”
That is the central philosophy of this track, that “we love who we love”. The first two verses go about relaying how the artists ideally vision a carefree love. In the first verse, Smith goes about painting a picture whereby two lovers are in a public setting “tangled in awkward shapes”, as if they simply cannot keep their hands off of each other.
Sheeran, in the second verse, initially takes a tenderer approach, rather depicting this couple as chillin’ on the beach and potentially marrying. But by the time the passage is done, PDA is also shown to have a role in their romance.
However, the third verse, along with the chorus, drive home what this song is really about, or what those couples actually represent, which is romantic love whereas both participants fully trust their hearts. Or viewed differently and as inferred in the chorus, a person cannot predetermine who it is they fall in love with.
So what’s being further implied is that if you do have that special somebody, there’s no reason to front or sham. Or as the homeys put it, “it’s not wrong to want the world for someone”, which reads like another way of saying that you shouldn’t be ashamed of who you find yourself thoroughly smitten by, regardless of who that person may be.
“It’s not wrong
To Want the world for someone
It’s not a feeling you can run from
‘Cause we love who we love
So let go
You don’t know better than your heart knows
Whether they’re here or long gone
Yeah, we love who we love”
SMITH & SHEERAN – CONTEMPORARIES, FRIENDS AND SUPERSTARS
As far as solo-male vocalists go, as of the onset of the 2020s Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith can be considered the two most-popular coming out to the UK. That reality contributed to the stars, according to Smith, having “been friends for a long time”, desiring to collab throughout.
Moreover according to Sam, when that time came it wasn’t about pursuing a hit. After all, as alluded to earlier, dudes are already mega-successful. For instance, Smith has multiple Grammys under their belt. Their 2022 collaboration with Kim Petras, “Unholy” also won a Grammy in early 2023.
Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran holds the distinction of for instance spearheading the high-grossing concert tour in industry history, that being his ÷ Tour of the late 2010s.
Both of their major-label discographies date back to the early 2010s, and the pair blew up stateside around the same time. They’ve also performed together at least once. But all of that said, “Who We Love” marks their first official collaboration, unless you count the 2014 supergroup effort “Do They Know It’s Christmas“, upon which both participated.
STEVE MAC IN THE HOUSE, ALONGSIDE…
This song was released as part of Sam Smith’s fourth studio LP “Gloria” on 27 January 2023. This project is backed by Capitol Records, who he’s been down with since 2014.
“Who We Love” was produced and co-written by Steve Mac, concurrently one of the top behind-the-scenes’ musicians from the UK, who accordingly has worked with both Sheeran and Smith in the past. In fact it was Mac who served as the exclusive producer of Ed’s “Shape of You” (2017), which stands as one of the biggest hits in global music industry history.
The other credited authors of this track are Smith, Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Jimmy Napes and Fred Again, with the latter three all likewise hailing from the UK and being hot items on the music scene at the moment.
Message-wise, Sam Smith did achieve his goal of dropping a song with a meaningful message as opposed to some quick-cash, bubblegum-pop fare. And he chose the right person to do that with in Ed Sheeran, whose most recent single for example, “F64” (2023), served as a shoutout to one of his buddies who died unexpectedly.