Usually YouTube ads without a skip option fill me with a special kind of disdain that elicits 30 seconds of ignoring my device screen.


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Imagine my surprise when I noticed during the 0:22 countdown I was staring, fully engaged in melodic voice of James Bay.

The Apple Music ad that was preventing me from watching Tracy Morgan’s comeback Emmy speech almost made me forget I was trying to watch Tracy Morgan’s comeback Emmy speech. Once the artist’s name appeared I was ready to search more of James Bay‘s music. At the time, the singer was standing full profile in a wide-brimmed fedora as his tousled brunette hair laid below his shoulders. The song which had mesmerized me in the ad is Bae’s Bay’s seductive, falsetto-dominating “Craving,” which is also the first track on his March 2015 debut album Chaos and the Calm. In its first week of release Chaos and the Calm reached number one on the UK charts selling over 64,000 copies.
james bay

The 25-year-old indie/folk/soul/rock singer-songwriter from Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, England has also been making his music known in the U.S, reaching number 15 on the US charts with his single “Hold Back the River.” Bay won the “Critics Choice 2015” award at the British Awards, a coveted honor with past recipients including Sam Smith, Jessie J and, of course, Adele. Don’t just take my word for it, watch “Let It Go” below and hear for yourself.

James Bay attributes his love of good music to his parents who kept the radio on and resonating throughout the entire house. With his parent’s love for artists like Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and Aretha Franklin, and his own obsession for Michael Jackson, Bay and his brother would listen to contemporary artists like The Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys in their room. These varying artists with different sounds and ranges are mostly likely what contributed to Bay’s eclectic sound. In a single song James Bay goes from rhythm and blues begging to a folk-indie twang. It wasn’t until James heard “Layla” by Derek and The Dominos (Eric Clayton) that he decided to give the guitar a try. Learning from YouTube videos and trial and error “open mic” nights, James Bay transformed his hobby into his career.

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