Sam Smith: My new album is inspired by my time in Iraq

Singer Sam Smith says his song-writing has been inspired by Iraq.

The Oscar-winning performer spent time in Mosul, northern Iraq, to learn about injustices in the world while penning his latest songs.

“I spent five days in Mosul and came back ­embarrassed that I had known so little about the world and other people’s lives,” he told Billboard magazine.

Mosul, Iraq (Getty)

Mosul has faced intense warfare in the past 18 months, with 40,000 feared dead as Islamic State and Iraqi Government battled for control of the city.

It was only on 9 July 2017 that the Iraqi Prime Minister arrived in Mosul to announce victory over IS.

Sam continued: “I went back to that great Nina Simone quote, that it is important to speak about the times you live in.

“I hadn’t done that; I’d just written a bunch of songs about love.

“So I wanted to write about how I’m now starting to open my eyes, at 25, to what is going on in the rest of the world, and that it’s not always pretty.”

Homosexuality is illegal and punishable with execution in the country, and it voted against a UN motion calling for an end to executing gay people just last week.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 4: Sam Smith visits the Kiss FM Studio’s on September 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

The singer sent the internet into a tailspin earlier this week when he was photographed with a star of 13 Reasons Why.

The multi-platinum selling artist had denied dating anyone as recently as two weeks ago.

But now it looks like he has found romance after he was snapped making out with Netflix star Brandon Flynn.

The couple were photographed looking cosy in New York, with Sam kissing the Netflix actor.