Following the success of his 'Hold Back The River' EP, James Bay reveals how it all began.
With his debut album on the way as well as a major European tour, it's safe to say that James Bay has skyrocketed to success - and with such incredible talent at singing, songwriting and guitar playing, we can't say we're surprised.
James Bay first started playing at the age of 11
'Music, playing, singing, writing: It all works like a muscle. I suppose the more you use it the stronger it gets' - these are the wise words from the 24-year-old Hertfordshire singer-songwriter, who's set to unveil his highly anticipated debut album in the coming months. But just how did it all begin for this smalltown boy? Let's just say he's had plenty of time to flex his musical biceps.
'When I was 11 I actually discovered a guitar in the spare room in our house', he reveals. 'My parents listened to lots of cool music from back in the 60s and 70s and I remember my dad was playing a song called 'Layla' by a band called Derek and the Dominos which was Eric Clapton's band - there's a big riff in that song, a massive guitar riff and it just shook me in the right way.' The newly shook-up pre-teen took his interest through his teen years, playing along to the likes of Kings of Leon and The Rolling Stones in his bedroom, while forming bands and jamming with like-minded musicians.
'[Being in bands] paired with writing songs... I was so excited by that feeling that I never stepped away from it', he confesses. At the tender age of 19 he moved to Brighton to pursue a solo career, performing at open mic nights and continuing his songwriting, and he admits an early positive reception 'fuelled the fire' when it came to his future plans.
Now with a critically acclaimed, iTunes Top Ten EP and the 2015 Brits Critics' Choice Award under his belt, not to mention a forthcoming gig at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, we can only imagine what post-debut album fame will bring him.