Hitchin singer James Bay hits the big time

James Bay

James Bay - Credit: Archant

A former student at Hitchin Boys’ School is causing a stir at home and abroad with his latest song getting air time on BBC Radio 1.

James Bay recorded Let It Go in the US after performing several gigs there, but the single is also making waves in the UK and has been played by Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton on her lunchtime show.

After playing the song on Thursday she sent a tweet to her 5.28 million Twitter followers which said: “James Bay ‘Let it Go’ = delightful song!”.

The 23-year-old grew up in Hitchin and is currently halfway through a UK tour and will be heading Across the Pond in the coming months.

Since being discovered after a friend posted a video of him playing in a Kentish Town pub and being voted as ‘one to watch’ by an EMI boss in May 2010, James’ social media fan base has grown dramatically.

This summer James has been playing regular gigs, including a sell-out headlining event at Dingwalls in Camden, supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park and playing at Glastonbury festival.

Speaking to Noisetrade music last year about his home town, James said: “It was cool growing up in Hitchin, a pretty easy-going town. But you need to plan how you’re going to get out, or before you know it you’ll get stuck.

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“Between my own solo stuff and the bands I was in, we must have made up about a third of Hitchin’s music scene.

“It was great because although there’s only one proper venue in town, we were creating new ones all the time. Back gardens, upstairs at pubs and people’s living rooms became part of our own little self-made gig circuit.”

James’ tracks, including the new single Let It Go, are available to download on iTunes. To listen to them for free visit www.soundcloud.com/jamesbaymusic.