James Michael Bay (born 4 September 1990) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. In 2014, he released his single "Hold Back the River", which has been certified platinum, before releasing his debut studio album Chaos and the Calm (2015). The album went to number one in the UK and number 15 in the US. 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. Bay also received three nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song.
Bay was brought up in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and attended Hitchin Boys' School. Aged 11, Bay was inspired to play classical guitar after hearing Eric Clapton's "Layla". and he used an old rusty guitar with 5 strings he found in the cupboard in his house. When he moved to study in Brighton seven years later at age 18 he gained a greater education from playing the city's open mic nights, on which he said, "That taught me a lot about writing and performing on my own and trying to hold my own". "I'm trying to make songs that make people feel something, and if I'm lucky, even move them,". 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, and 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.
Bay released his debut extended play, The Dark of the Morning, on 18 July 2013. His second EP, Let It Go, was released on 12 May 2014. The Let It Go EP debuted in the top 10 iTunes album chart and the lead single, titled "Let It Go", peaked at number 10 in the UK charts. Bay has performed live on the Burberry runway and has also recorded a Burberry Acoustic session. Bay toured with Hozier in 2014.
Bay recorded his entire debut studio album Chaos and the Calm at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, with producer Jacquire King. It debuted at number one in the UK charts and has been certified platinum. His single, "Hold Back The River" peaked at number 2 in the UK charts and has been certified platinum.
Bay performed on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival in June 2015.
At the 2016 Brit Awards in London on 24 February, Bay received the award for Best British Male Solo Artist, and also performed "Love Yourself" with Justin Bieber at the ceremony.
Bay recorded a cover of the Tom Petty song King's Highway for the 2017 Disney/Pixar film Cars 3. It is heard in the film and is included on the official soundtrack album.
Bay is an advocate for the international non-profit, WaterAid.
In August 2017, Bay released his fashion collection with Topman, #jamesbayxtopman.
Bay endorses and plays Tone King amplifiers, a boutique amplifier brand of Premier Builders Guild.Chaos and the Calm Tour (2015–16)
Boardmasters (August 2016) - Cornwall
Toured with Kodaline UK and Ireland (2013)
Toured with Hozier North America (2014)
Taylor Swift – 1989 World Tour (Europe) (2015)