James Bay wants to keep performing and making music for "50 years".
The 'Hold Back The River' hitmaker has just released his third studio album, 'Leap', featuring his most vulnerable lyrics to date, and he has admitted it takes a lot of "courage" for him to perform for his fans and he's vowed to continue facing his fears to play for years to come.
In an honest interview with Atwood magazine, James confessed: “10 years into doing this professionally, that hunger hasn’t changed, and it hasn’t got any easier, either: It takes the exact same courage to do this today as it did on my first open mic night.
“So if I want to do this for the next 50 years – and I absolutely do, with all my heart – I’m going to have to hold on to that courage, and continue to take risks. Really, I have no choice but to leap.”
The 31-year-old star - who became a father for the first time to daughter Ada Violet, whom he has with childhood sweetheart Lucy Smith, in October - has been open about his struggles with anxiety and impostor syndrome and has felt like wanting to abandon music in the past.
He told the publication: "My relationship with the experience of just playing with the guitar and my voice, it’s been a unique relationship. I’ve always known it it’ll sort of be there for me. I don’t wanna say I ever like fully abandoned it, but I think like a sort of moody teenager, there were times when I wanted to sort of step further away from it. And I wonder if I’ll have those times again. I don’t know. And I know and I’ve known in the past how much I sort of love and cherish my sort of ability, I suppose, to be able to do that."
However, his new album - the follow-up to 2018's 'Electric Light' - comes from a place of optimism and hope.
He said: “There’s a shift on this album towards optimism and hope.
“Albeit a pretty realistic, bull****-free take on hope. But that’s the point: you can’t achieve anything without taking a gamble: you’ve got to leap.”