Updated: Dec 10, 2022
James Bay is a three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist. He recently released on July 8th his third full-length album, “Leap”.
“Leap” was derived from the poem by American essayist John Burroughs: “Leap, and the net will appear.” It became a daily mantra for Bay as he worked on the album. “It sorta fired like a light through me and sat me up,” he says. “I kinda said to myself ‘Let’s go, let's do this.’ I try to call these songs anthems of hope. It's just about the reach, the leap, it's about the going for it. I was reminded of that when I read the quote and it affected all the writing in the album.”
This album started a new chapter in James' life, a hopeful one. He faced his fear of being completely vulnerable in his lyrics. He compared “Leap” to the fresh sense of entering your house and the feeling of stability when laying on the ground. The freedom, the security, that open exhale of relaxation all those things can create together or on their own.
James got to collaborate with some of the most sought-after producers and songwriters including Foy Vance [Ed Sheeran], Dave Cobb [Brandi Carlite, Chris Stapleton], Ian Fitchuk [Kacey Mustgraves], Joel Little [Lorde, Taylor Swift] & Finneas [Billie Eilish] in a mixture of in-person and remote sessions in Nashville & London.
His favorite song on the album is “Endless Summer Nights,” one of the first songs written for the album. He shared how he wanted to write about a moment that you never want to end and compared it to the feeling of when you are at a music festival. The headliner enters the stage, and you can feel the excitement in the air, the joy, feeling like you can live in that moment forever.
James treasures being back on stage after the lockdown period: “I’m incredibly grateful that I still get to do this even after a couple of years of pandemic.” He loves to connect with his audience, and he shared one of his favorite moments that occurred on one of his shows: “There is a moment in the middle of the song ‘One Life’ where I do a quitter chorus and I changed the lyrics there. The chorus says ‘I've only got one life and I want you in it,’ and the little chorus says ‘ We only got one try, I don't want to miss it,’ and I’m hearing people give that moment so much and they are singing out and they got the lyrics wrong, and I could care less. It's not about if they got the lyrics right or not, it's the fact that they want to be so present and so much apart in that moment.”
“Leap” is available on all streaming platforms.