James Bay Switches It Up With Synth-Drenched “Wild Love”

Mike Wass | February 8, 2018 3:59 pm
James Bay Interview
We speak to James Bay about his debut LP 'Chaos And The Calm.' Read on.

James Bay was one of the breakout stars of 2015/2016 with raw rock anthems like “Let It Go” and “Hold Back The River.” His debut album was a mega-seller around the world and he was rewarded with three Grammy nominations. Which makes the Brit’s decision to forgo his signature, stripped-back sound on “Wild Love” rather brave. Instead, the 27-year-old’s new single is a synth-driven, ’80s-evoking soul anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Prince album — obviously, one of the biggest compliments you can pay an artist.

“I know some of this new sound was not apparent on my first album – there were hints, perhaps – but I think my new music helps to paint a fuller picture of who I am,” James says of his new direction. “As soon as I recognized I was being pinned down as ‘the intimate acoustic guitar guy’ I realized I knew I had to push myself musically. I want it as part of my arsenal, but I don’t want that solely to define me.” It seems the hitmaker has serious plans for the singer/songwriter genre.

“I’m not there yet, but hope that this new music can do for singer/songwriter, loosely, what Drake and Chance The Rapper are doing for their genre: tearing up the rule book.” What’s his new single about? “The experience of falling for someone,” James reveals. “Something you can feel immediately when you meet them for the first time, or which rekindles throughout a relationship. It’s also about yearning for someone — whether that’s the person you can’t keep your eyes off across the room, or in my experience, the person you don’t stop thinking about wherever you are in the world.”

Get acquainted with James Bay 2.0 and his very good new single below. You can also find out more about his upcoming North American tour here.

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