Up Close & Personal: James Bay Talks "Chew On My Heart," New Album, Jamming With Eric Clapton & More
In 2015, British singer/songwriter James Bay swiftly made his mark on the music world with the release of his debut album, Chaos And The Calm, whose emotive mix of melancholic ballads and powerhouse pop/rock earned him fans across the globe. It also snagged him three GRAMMY nominations at the 58th GRAMMY Awards—Best New Artist, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song, for its hit single "Hold Back The River." With his rich vocals, dexterous lyricism and life-long love of guitars, the 29-year-old has a lot more in store for us.
"[On each project,] I want to push a boundary somewhere, somehow. You know, my first EP I released was an acoustic thing, and I knew that I wanted drums and bass and some sort of band sound on the full album. So that happened, and that for me was a small pushing of a boundary," Bay tells GRAMMY.com.
"On the second record, I really pushed the sonic boundaries for myself as an artist. Suddenly there were synthesizers involved and this, that. I even sort of pushed for what I thought were just more kind of exciting and out-there song titles…[like] 'Sugar Drunk High,' or 'Pink Lemonade,' or 'Wild Love.'"
"On the [upcoming] third record, I've realized...Lyrics was the boundary pushed the most. Like I said about 'Chew On My Heart,' I'll say about the whole record, this is maybe the most positive, but also the most personal music I've ever written," he continues.
Above, GRAMMY.com resumes their Up Close & Personal interview series (via Zoom!), kicking things off with Bay. Watch the full conversation above, in which he dives deep into his latest single, "Chew On My Heart," and his upcoming third studio album, which the legendary GRAMMY-winning producer Dave Cobb worked on. The "Let It Go" singer also shares the story of performing with his idol Eric Clapton at the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival and more.