James Bay “lost his mind” twice when he found about his Grammy nominations.
The British singer made the shortlist for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song for Hold Back the River at the 2016 ceremony. And while he wasn’t victorious in any of the categories, the memory of being nominated for the prestigious American music awards is one that will stay with him forever.
“I was in a car on the way to Jools Holland’s Hootenanny last year (15), scrolling through Twitter,” he told Q magazine. “My manager said I suddenly went white, I wasn’t sure what I’d seen because you don’t always know what to believe on Twitter. We confirmed it from the official site through - I’d been nominated for a Grammy.
“We lost our minds! Then we rang my record label. They said, ‘Have you seen your other two nominations?’ So we lost our minds again.”
James also got to perform at the 2016 ceremony, held in February. He sang with fellow best newcomer nominee Tori Kelly, with the pair wowing the crowd with their rendition of Hollow/Let It Go. Prior to getting on stage, the 26-year-old hat-loving singer admits he was a bag of nerves.
“On the night, I was performing and kept saying to myself beforehand, ‘I’m nervous and it’s going to get worse.’” he recalled.
“I’m wandering backstage and Dave Grohl went, ‘Hey! I know you!’ He tried to shake my hand but I had to say, ‘I’m sorry it’s very wet, I’ve just been to the toilet and there were no paper towels.’ He didn’t recoil, he was a consummate pro. That helped break it up and keep it light.”