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James Bay

James Bay

Bluesy English singer/songwriter James Bay crafts moving and evocative folk-pop delivered with a warm, raspy voice. Riding the success of the platinum single "Hold Back the River," his 2015 debut album, Chaos and the Calm, was a breakthrough, soaring to number one in the U.K. and landing in the Top Ten across Europe and Australasia. Incorporating fresh flair, he issued sophomore effort Electric Light in 2018. An EP, Oh My Messy Mind, arrived in 2019 featuring "Peer Pressure" with Julia Michaels, and was followed by the singles "Chew on My Heart" and "Give Me the Reason," the latter of which appeared on his 2022 long-player Leap.

Hailing from the North Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin, Bay honed his skills regionally, eventually landing high-exposure support slots with Tom Odell, John Newman, and Kodaline before inking a record deal with Republic/Universal in 2012. Bay soon began recording material, and charted the single "When We Were on Fire" in 2013. One year later, he landed a pair of songs in the British Top Ten; first, "Let It Go" peaked at number ten, and by the end of 2014, "Hold Back the River" hit number two (and charted in ten other countries). Bay's first full-length, Chaos and the Calm, appeared in March 2015, in time for him to play a handful of American dates, including showcases at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. The album hit number one in Great Britain and Ireland, and debuted within the Top 20 in the U.S. During 2016, Bay earned a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist and Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song for "Hold Back the River."

He returned in 2018 with the emotive single "Wild Love," which landed on his sophomore effort, Electric Light. Showcasing an evolved sound that incorporated polished production and experimental flourish, the album peaked at number two on the U.K. chart. The following year, Bay issued the single "Peer Pressure," which featured American singer Julia Michaels. The song, along with three others, appeared on that year's Oh My Messy Mind EP. In 2020 Bay returned with the upbeat single "Chew on My Heart," followed in early 2022 by "Give Me the Reason." The latter track appeared on the full-length Leap, which included production and songwriting from Dave Cobb, Foy Vance, Ian Fitchuk, Joel Little, and Finneas, later that year. Bay kicked off 2023 with the heartache-driven single "Goodbye Never Felt So Bad." ~ James Christopher Monger

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