The moment James Bay dons his iconic Panama hat and takes to the stage at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend this coming Sunday, will see the star rightly take his place amongst some of the biggest names in music – and you can probably tell that I am very excited about it.
The past two years have witnessed the singer-songwriter calmly, yet expertly saunter into the mainframe of British music, with his delicate and captivating folk sound moving from lowly London bars to packed out arena’s and the airwaves of every radio station in the country.
The sheer speed to which the 24 year old has raced to the dizzying heights of his profession is a testament to his charmingly personal lyricism and his knack for beautiful storytelling; all encompassed by a gravelled, yet warm tone. It is no wonder that James Bay is fast becoming music’s new ‘it’ boy. He came second in BBC’s Sound of 2015 list and was rightly awarded the BRIT’s Critics Choice Award for 2015 back in February. With past winners being Emeli Sande, Adele and Sam Smith, you can’t help but feel that greatness awaits.
His debut album, ‘Chaos and The Calm’ was an incredible hit in the charts, clearly defining Bay’s obvious popularity. You struggle to turn on the radio nowadays and not hear ‘Hold Back the River’, which is his largest hit to date. This, as well as ‘Let It Go’ and many more will be a sure favourite at this weekend’s BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, and I personally cannot wait to hear his beautifully crafted lyrics to be bellowing out through the crowd.
There is one thing however which aggravates me about James Bay, and that’s how effortlessly cool he is! The man could be picking up his dogs s**t and he’d look good doing it. Secondly, he rocks a hat. His iconic image is his black, wide-brimmed Panama, which just looks fantastic. And let me tell you, I’ve relentlessly tried wearing one, and I look a damn fool. I am so incredibly jealous, and for that, I kind of hate him.