The singer told the host that he tried to challenge himself and address "heavier stuff" with his new album. The song, "Too Good at Goodbyes", for instance, is about a relationship he was in.
"What I've been through relationship-wise the last year has made me a lot stronger," he said, "and I feel like I've learned some lessons from it."
Zane even described the artwork for "Too Good at Goodbyes", which features a giant bouquet of dying flowers, as "dark."
"My favorite flowers are dead flowers," Smith explained. "I think the colors are really really beautiful. So for my album cover shoot...we got loads and loads of dead flowers, but it didn't actually work out for the cover in the end. We had this beautiful picture that we made black and white and, I don't know, it symbolizes goodbyes to me."
But Smith said the album isn't just about him. On the contrary, the album—which he said contains 10 songs on one version and 14 on another—contains only four songs about him; the rest are about other people in his life.
Smith also had the opportunity to collaborate with other artists on the record, including Timbaland.
"I can't wait for people to hear that!" he told Zane. "To me it was a dream to work with him and I'm so proud because when you listen to it, it's a real collaboration. It's the two sounds smashed together, which I'm really really proud of."
In addition, he worked with a new songwriting and producing team, Stargate, along with his previous producer and songwriter Jimmy Napes.
Smith said it was important for him to challenge himself and "be scared again" by trying new things. At the same time, not every recording session works out, which he said can hard.
"It's really hard to work with people [on] something because what I write is so personal. I've really gotta trust them in every way because I'm about to tell them some really dark secrets. I've gotta know that they're not gonna tell anyone, basically."
Smith also told Zane that he's "ready for something more positive." However, romantic relationships aren't his only priority. When asked about the "most challenging" and "greatest" times in his life, Smith talked about getting back on "the same page" as his family and friends.
"My fame and what happens when you become well known really scared me," he said in regards to the most challenging time. "I became very distant to my family and friends just because our lives weren't relatable. So, that was really tough for me. When I'm not close to my family I freak out and I'm just not the best person I could be. Then, I'd say the best moments were just being here for them. For it to not be about me for one year was absolutely wonderful. I was there to see my goddaughter be born. I've been at every single birthday for my mom and my dad, sister and my cousins, my best friends. I'm there for down days and their good days. My sisters' graduation—I was there for both of them. It was incredible."
To hear the whole interview, check out the recording.
"Too Good at Goodbyes" is out now and Smith said his album will be released "before Christmas."