Maxppp/Landov; Jim Spellman/WireImage
Jeff Nelson
February 02, 2015 02:10 PM

Turns out Sam Smith‘s a Little Monster, too!

The artist, who broke out last year with his megahit “Stay With Me,” tells Rolling Stone in its latest cover story that Lady Gaga inspired him to pursue his dreams.

“Without Gaga, I wouldn’t be here right now,” says Smith, 22, who scored six Grammy nods. “I would go to those shows to feed my hunger, and I’d walk out of that show saying, ‘I’m gonna do that.’ ”

In fact, the Brit was such a fan, he saw her on her Monster Ball tour four times and even skipped school once (earning three days of detention) to catch the show.

Following in Gaga’s footsteps (the native New Yorker started out playing gigs on the city’s Lower East Side club circuit), Smith moved to London to pursue his dreams.

“That story of her hustle – I copied it,” he tells the magazine. “I know I couldn’t do it in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, so I moved to London, and I grinded. I focused on my trade and my art and my work, and I went for it.”

Gaga (or Mother Monster, if you’re a fan) was ecstatic to find out she’d had a powerful impact on one of her contemporaries.

“Watching Sam become a star, and then later finding out the influence and inspiration my work has had on him has been one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had as a growing artist,” she tells the glossy. “I couldn’t be more proud and honored. I was Sam. I still am Sam in a lot of ways.”

They’ll have plenty of time to geek out over one each other at the Grammys on Sunday: Both are up for awards and slated to perform.

Sam Smith on the cover of Rolling Stone
Theo Wenner/Rolling Stone

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