Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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James Bay: Sad songs come naturally

James Bay finds “sad songs come naturally” to him.

The ‘Hold Back the River’ hitmaker has previously opened up about battlnig anxiety and imposter syndrome in 2019, and his low mood influenced his songwriting at the time, though the mood of his upcoming new album, ‘Leap’, is upbeat because he wanted to try and embrace the positives as well.

He said: “It’s funny because sad songs come naturally to me.

“But then I had a bit of an epiphany after all that happened in 2019. When I was struggling, there were some people in my personal life who were doing whatever they could to lift me up and help me keep my chin up. And for the first time ever, I recognised 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.”

The 31-year-old singer admitted many people didn’t realise he was “struggling” as much as he was at the time because he was able to mask his feelings.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “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.”

James acknowledged that the mental health struggles he had then are likely to return at some point.

He said: “What I was going through then, will happen again. It goes in cycles so it’s going to be something to navigate. The horrible reality is I’ll feel some of that again because I’m not really any different from 2019. But I’m trying to take the chance to talk more and see the opportunities that life is offering.”

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