Who are you and where are you from?
I am James Bay, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire in England.
Who are your favorite artists from home?
Well, there aren’t any well-known ones that come from Hitchin. But old George from down the Kings Arms was always pretty good on harmonica on a Thursday night.
What’s it really like touring?
At time it can get a little tiring, but the rest of the time its amazing. I love it. Travelling around the UK and other parts of the world doing what I love to do is something I’d like to be doing for a long time.
What’s your favourite venue to play?
I’ve always loved Shepherds Bush Empire in London. I had an amazing night playing there recently. It’s been one of my favourites ever since I saw one of my first gigs there aged fifteen. I recently played the Olympia Theatre in Dublin too, and now that’s also a contender for my number one. Oh, and The Fillmore West in San Francisco, that one’s pretty incredible too.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
All the great bands, all on the same bill together.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Recording my debut album.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
“You should cut your hair and be more like Bruno Mars.”
What do you do to relax?
Listen to vinyl. You can’t really skip between tracks with vinyl – so I just like to kick back and let a whole album do its thing. Also, I know it’s a bit cliche, but the pop and crackle sounds you sometimes get on vinyl, well, they are pretty brilliant.
What are you reading?
“Wonder” by R.J Palacio.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
No idea. Especially not while I’m on the road.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
Stevie Wonder’s performance of Superstition on Sesame Street back in the 70s – that’s pretty great. Look out for the kid with the hair on the balcony, at the back. Amazing.
What website do you visit most?
I don’t really have one, YouTube maybe? At the end of the day, the Internet isn’t really that interesting. Is it?
What is your favourite record?
We all know there’s waaaay more than one answer to this. That one with all the massive tunes on it!
…song? That one about love.
…lost classic song? ‘Stay With Me Baby’ by Lorraine Ellison
…record label? That one that signed all the greats.
Who is your favourite current artist?
Half Moon Run / Hozier.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Feist playing her most recent album Metals, live at the Royal Albert Hall. We stood up in the Gods, right at the back at the top, and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen.
Old George down the Kings Arms: ten pints in and not letting go of the mic.
What should we expect from your live shows?
Me, in awe at the wonder and beauty of the people.