James Bay has said that “sad songs come naturally” to him ahead of his upcoming new album, Leap. James Bay talked about the hard work and struggle he went through before finding success.
Speaking to Telegraph, James Bay opened up about his mental health battles in 2019.
“It’s funny because sad songs come naturally to me,” he said.
“But then I had a bit of an epiphany after all that happened in 2019. When I struggled, some people in my personal life were doing whatever they could to lift me up and help me keep my chin up. And for the first time ever, I recognized that in my writing. So songs would start sad, but instead of getting to a chorus and saying effectively woe is me, boo-hoo, I was saying thank you. I need you. I love you, and I’m so grateful. I think the combination of those two emotions in these songs was something I hadn’t really done before,” Bay added.
In 2014, his single ‘Hold Back the River’ entered the Top 10 and became a huge success. ‘Chaos and the Calm’ also found success, bagged three Grammy nominations, and was named the Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice. In 2015, Bay won the Best British Male Solo Artist.
“A lot of people state I had an overnight success and asked how it was, but there was nothing overnight about it. Two years before I won the Brit, I was working in a bar in the daytime, losing my mind thinking that I was 21 – which is ancient for pop music. I felt like everything was taking forever,” he said.
Bay further revealed his battle with anxiety and imposter syndrome in 2019.
“Underneath, I was having a bit of a crash. On the surface, it didn’t look that way at all, and it sometimes feels like my job to make sure it doesn’t look like that, but I was struggling. Just with real insecurity, imposter syndrome, anxiety,” he said.