Discovered as a support for John Newman on a February night in Glasgow, my friend and I were introduced to James Bay through his biggest fan – his mum.
Yes, Mrs. Bay did her bidding outside of the O2 Academy on the outskirts of Glasgow’s City Centre trying to get her son some love from a crowd already buzzing from the rise of the show’s headliner John Newman. Little did she know that the 2,500 people in attendance didn’t need her cheerleading on a chilly, wet night, Bay’s talent for songwriting and bluesy rhythm was enough to entice the Newman enthusiasts to keep informed of his travels.
If you haven’t a clue about who I’m talking about, WHY THE HELL NOT?!
James Bay’s first EP The Dark Of The Morning, released in 2013, features some fantastic foundations for what is so instantly recognisable on the radio waves as the ‘Bay sound’. The highlight of the record is ‘When We Were On Fire’ – which I hasten to add is just as energetic live.
But it was 2014 that slowly brought the 23-year old to the fore with two small albums, Let It Go and Hold Back The River, which could have easily been amalgamated to form an official début album. The title singles of these EP’s have received massive acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic, supporting the likes of Tom Odell and Hozier. Expect him to be a performer across all of 2015’s festivals.
And to top it all off, James Bay was on the three-artist shortlist for the Critic’s Choice Award for the Brit Awards in 2015. Previous winners of the award are a plethora of worldwide stars, including the inaugural champion Adele, Florence and the Machine, Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande and Sam Smith.
2014 has been monumental for James Bay, but this is only the beginning.