Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance, and Ben Howard, James Bay hails from the North Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin. Bay honed his skills regionally, eventually landing high-exposure support slots with Tom Odell, John Newman, and Kodaline before inking a record deal with Republic/Universal in 2012. He began recording material soon after, and charted the single "When We Were on Fire" in 2013. One year later, he landed a pair of songs in the British Top Ten; first, "Let It Go" peaked at number ten, and by the end of 2014, "Hold Back the River" hit number two (and charted in ten other countries). Bay's first full-length album, Chaos and the Calm, appeared in March 2015, in time for him to play a handful of American dates, including showcases at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas.
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