James Bay Tells The Story Behind 'Hold Back The River'

(Radio.com) When James Bay sat alone with his guitar one evening he had no idea he'd end up writing his very first hit song. The 24-year-old British songwriter was simply overwhelmed with feelings and music was his only mechanism for coping.

Bay tells Radio.com that "Hold Back The River" was born purely out of emotion, and a longing to be with friends and family after a grueling tour got in the way.

'Most of my songs start musically--melody, guitar part, chords, whatever--but that one didn't," Bay recalls. 'It started with quite an overwhelming feeling."

With his early success, Bay found himself busier than he'd ever been. Touring the world had created not just a physical distance but an emotional one from everyone important his life. 'I started to panic about losing touch with those people," he admits. 'That started to worry me."

It all came to a head the night of his first headlining show, where three-fourths of the audience was made up of friends and family. Bay mistakenly assumed he'd be able to spend time with everyone after the show. But as the lights turned on and people left, he realized he hadn't spent quality time with anyone. 'The moment came and went in two seconds," Bay laments. 'I continued to feel anxious about how I was losing touch." Read more here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.


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