Every year the UK have consistently churned out at least one male, British act a year that has went on to be a massive success since the talented Ed Sheeran shown up on the scene with nothing but his guitar and a mixture of emotionally honest songwriting and pitch-perfect vocals that would make even the hardest men shed a tear.
- 2011 – Ed Sheeran
- 2012 – Tom Odell
- 2013 – Bastille
- 2014 – George Ezra/Sam Smith
- 2015 – ???James Bay???
With 2015 underway in terms of music a song by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars has been causing a lot of waves by holding on to that number 1 spot in the UK for 7 weeks and the US for 8. However, in the background a young lad named James Bay is going about his business in a subtle and calm fashion. Although the same can’t be said for his rapidly growing fan base which is drawing comparisons to the phenomenal success of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
On the 16th November 2014, I had been asked to interview Mr Bay before his gig at The Art School in Glasgow but sadly I had already have been booked elsewhere that evening. However, I didn’t know who this guy was so I Googled him and there wasn’t much to go on. I clicked on images and he had such a cool but laid back image like a modest rock star with the leather jacket, long hair and fedora and cheek bones that could peel potatoes. The next step was to listen to him on Spotify and I was truly blown away with the quality of the bluesy emotion in his gristly delivery that would silence even the noisiest crowd.
Fast forward to February 2015 James Bay has just picked up the Critics’ Choice Award at The Brits, he has just sold out his UK tour with 3 months to go in venues with over a 1,000 capacity, celebrity fans in the form of Niall Horan from One Direction, Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones and the single Hold Back The River is currently sitting at 13 in the UK charts and still climbing along with the video which has nearly hit 8 million views on Youtube only 4 months after being posted.
It’s fair to say the boy isn’t doing too badly with his meteoric rise to fame but how many artists appear with a bang and disappear again without a trace (Gotye? Daniel Powter? Plain White T’s? HelloGoodbye?) Luckily for James his album is consistently strong and there’s at least 4 other songs on a par or even better than Hold Back The River.
I firmly believe if this young man sticks to belting out those incredibly well-crafted songs of his I don’t see any reason why he can’t have achieve similar success to his peers Mr Sheeran and Mr Smith. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of that fedora for years to come.