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  • NicoleDeRosa

JAMES BAY - February 15, 2016

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

Catching up with the GRAMMY Nominee

Between The Chaos and the Calm at the


JAMES BAY has released a number of EPs & an album, CHAOS AND THE CALM (2015). The album went to number one in the UK & number 15 in the US. Bay’s single “Hold Back The River” peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Chaos and the Calm is already the “Biggest Album Release This Year” in the UK & has been certified Gold in Australia & Switzerland, Platinum in the UK. In February 2015, Bay received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award. At the 2016 Brit Awards he received the award for Best British Male Solo Artist.

Congratulations are in order as the 25-year-old “If You Ever Want to Be in Love” crooner was just nominated three times at the 2016 Grammy Awards. James is up for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album & Best Rock Song for “Hold Back the River.

The English singer, songwriter & guitarist grew up in Hitchin, Hertfordshire & studied at the British & Irish Modern Music Institute. In 2015, Bay received the Brit Awards “Critics’ Choice” award. Aged 11, Bay was inspired to play classical guitar after hearing Eric Clapton’s “Layla” & he used a guitar he found in the cupboard in his house. When he moved to study in Brighton seven years later he gained a greater education from playing the city’s open mic nights, on which he said,

“That taught me a lot about writing & performing on my own & trying to hold my own. London is open minded, but it's a bit more like New York whereas Brighton is a bit more like Austin, Texas. You can walk around the whole of Brighton in a night with a guitar & packed bars with open mic nights. I made the decision that it would be formative to live there & develop as a performer.”
Bay caught the attention of a Republic Records A&R after a fan uploaded a video to YouTube of him performing at an open mic in London & within a week he was signed to the label. His first EP, The Dark of the Morning, was released in 2013. Within a year he was selling out his first UK headline tour.

All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with the singer during his stop at the Hollywood Palladium on Tuesday, December 1st where he performed to a sold out crowd. The singer has been on tour for almost the past two years & when asked about writing on the road he says...

“Lately I’m trying to get my head into that space. I didn’t really need to initially because I was getting ready to release a record I had already recorded. Writing was sort of in the back of my mind for the first time in a while but suddenly now I’m craving new ideas & enjoying flexing that muscle again. I’m on the road all the time, so it’s the only place to write. It’s a different thing if you can imagine as opposed to having your own space at all times, so I’m getting used to writing on the road now.”

The svelte rocker opened with “Collide” & followed it up with his swoon-worthy sing along “Craving” which flowed right into the poppy & oh so catchy track, “When We Were On Fire”. Before the night ended, James teased the crowd ever so slightly & continued with a triple encore that included “Incomplete” a fun cover of Creedence ClearwaterProud Mary” & ended the night on a high note closing out with his epic singalong “Hold Back The River”.

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