U.K. singer-songwriter James Bay, who has been opening act for both Hozier and Kodaline, performs at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom this coming Wednesday.
Bay, who’s performed in Portland before and released his “Let It Go” E.P. in June of last year, is now becoming a headliner in his own right. He received the Britt Awards “Critics’ Choice” prize this year. His full-length “Chaos and the Calm” debut, released in March, charted at number one in the U.K.
Growing up in Hitchin, Hertfordshire England, Bay was inspired to play classical guitar after hearing Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” He caught the attention of a Republic Records A&R after a fan uploaded a video to YouTube of him performing at an open mic in London, and within a week he was signed to the label.
This indie soul musician merits attention for his compelling, artfully crafted songs with arrangements that are often stunning.Those lucky enough to hear Bay’s Wednesday night performance will likely be treated to show-stoppers like “Hold Back the River,” “Let it Go” and “If You Ever Want to Be in Love.”
If You Ever Want to Be in Love
Bay has been touring nonstop since the release of “Chaos,” and performed in Glastonbury before thousands of fans this year. His upcoming concert dates include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Manchester and Glasgow.
James Bay’s Portland show is sold out – here’s hoping he plays a larger venue next time.
Look for his music on iTunes or on his website.