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James Bay Biography

Jul 21, 2016

Birthday: September 4, 1990
Birthplace: Hitchin, Hertfordshire (England)
Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Junior James

British singer-songwriter James Bay is best known for his singles "Hold Back the River" and "Let it Go," but he's actually been playing guitar since he was 11-years-old after hearing guitar great Eric Clapton's famous "Layla" (haven't heard it? Look it up! It's a true rock classic.)

James started learning guitar as a teenagerJames started learning guitar as a teenager

As a teenager James discovered open mic nights, and learned how to perform in front of crowds and even write his own songs. These open mic nights were the key to being discovered - a record exec saw him perform when a fan uploaded a vid of him performing in London to YouTube. It wasn't long before he was signed.

James topped the charts with Let it GoJames topped the charts with Let it Go

Let it Go

James released his first EP, In the Dark of the Morning, in 2013. The Let it Go EP followed quickly after in 2014 and shot to the Top 10 of the iTunes chart. He's gone on to tour with Hozier, and in 2016 won a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. James is known for emotionally charged indie folk ballads, explaining his musical motivation:

“I’m trying to make songs that make people feel something and, if I’m lucky, even move them.” 

James Bay won a Brit Award in 2016James Bay won a Brit Award in 2016

Did You Know...

  • His influences include:  Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen and James Blake
  • Before performing solo, he started bands with his brothers and friends
  • James is also a painter
  • His father was a wine merchant
  • He's afraid of heights

Listen to James Bay sing "Let it Go" below!


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