Sam Smith could practically sing from a computer manual and still give it his distinctive smoldering flair. That’s what the British singing star recently did on BBC’s Live Lounge when he performed a cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car.” Whereas the original version was purely poignant folk, Smith’s subdued rendition is jazzy and soulful, yet doesn’t rob of the song’s powerful themes of yearning and escapism. In addition to “Fast Car,” Smith performed his most recent single, “I’m Not the Only One,” on the same program. Interpreting other people’s songs is nothing new for the recent FADER cover star, who told us back in 2013: "I only loved listening to female singers. Just the girls. I just replicated Whitney [Houston] records and Chaka Khan records—that's all I did.” And not only has he covered his female artists, but he’s now collaborating with them—most recently for Mary J. Blige’s upcoming album The London Sessions.