Back to the roots
James Bay was born in 1990 in a small town in Hertfordshire, England. Growing up, he did not get much exposure to the outside world, and as such, did not develop his interest in music till he was eleven years old. It was then that he first heard Eric Clapton’s popular song ‘Layla’ and found a guitar his uncle had left behind with his father. The song made him learn to play the instrument but since it had been lying dormant for over fifteen years, it needed some work before it could be used.
James took help from a local music store and after it was fixed, he got down to learning how to play the guitar. He started off by using self help manuals and videos on YouTube; however he soon realized that learning by ear seemed much easier for him.
Move towards the limelight
James Bay’s talents were beyond his age which is why some people referred to him as an ‘old head on a young man’s shoulder.’ His music and lyrics give credence to this claim. From the very start, he was interested in soul, Motown and rock. He developed a sound that would incorporate all of them in one song.
After honing his playing style by performing several small time gigs, he moved to Brighton where he got to work on his live shows. His original compositions and amazing voice quality soon had people raving about him and after watching his performances online, he was signed by a reputable management agency. That led to increased opportunities and eventually he signed a recording contract with a major recording label in New York.
Getting down to work
Bay at once started working on original material and in 2013, released his first Extended Play (EP), “The Dark of the Morning.” The following year he came out with his second EP, “Let It Go” which received much better reception, with the title song getting to number ten on the UK music charts. The track has since gone on to be certified two times platinum in the US, platinum in New Zealand and gold in the UK.
Over the next eight months, Bay would release two more EPs, titled “Hold Back the River” and “Other Sides.” These would add to his growing reputation as an up and coming superstar and laid the foundations for his first official album, “Chaos and Calm” which came out in 2015.
The album did very well for a debut effort and made it to number one on the UK music charts. It also made it to number fifteen on the Billboard charts and managed to chart in the top ten on the music charts in eight other countries. Chaos and Calm was certified platinum in the UK and recorded gold level sales in the US. A couple of singles from the album went on to record platinum sales as well.
James Bay has quickly carved out a niche for himself in the music industry and people have taken notice. He has now played with some of the biggest names in the business, including the Rolling Stones, ZZ Ward, John Newman, Hozier, Tom Odell and many more. He was also chosen as the “Critics Choice” by the BRIT Award panel, famous for earmarking future stars of the industry. Now that he is heading out on tour, here is your chance to see what makes him such a sought after star. Book your James Bay tickets and enjoy the concert, live at an arena near you.