The 24-year-old Hertfordshire-born singer-songwriter James Bay has scooped the prestigious Critics’ Choice award after releasing just three EPs to date
oung British songwriter James Bay is the 2015 recipient of the Critics’ Choice Brit award. With previous winners having included the likes of Adele, Tom Odell, Florence & The Machine, Emeli Sande and (last year) Sam Smith, his place on the international A-list stage surely now awaits.
Unlike the other Brit awards, which are voted on by a British Phonographic Institute-selected panel of 1,000 industry figures and announced live at the annual ceremony in February, the Critics’ Choice Brit is awarded by a smaller panel of music critics and announced much earlier on (though Bay will still have to wait until 15 January to pick up his Tracey Emin-designed statuette at the nominations show). The award was instigated in 2008, with Adele the inaugural winner, and over the past half-decade has come to be seen as an indicator of which up-and-coming artists are likely to make it into the big leagues in the near future.
Hailing from Hitchin, Hertfordshiret, 24-year-old Bay has released three EPs to date: The Dark Of The Morning in 2013, and Let It Go and Hold Back The River in 2014, the latter spawning a No 18 hit single of the same name. He has toured with the likes of Tom Odell and John Newman, and his debut album will be released in the spring.
On being told he’d won, Bay said: “I’m pretty speechless. After all the years I’ve spent watching the BRITs and even after this year, watching my fan base grow so much, I never thought I’d actually be getting an award myself. And what a huge honour to be following the incredible artists who’ve won before! I’m really chuffed, thank you to everyone who has supported me.”
The Brit Awards 2015 will take place at The 02 Arena in London on 25 February, and will be hosted by TV personalities Ant & Dec.