BuzzFeed Premiere: James Bay Performs A Stirring Live Version Of “Scars”

He played an acoustic set in a recreation in of the iconic club, CBGB

Meet singer-songwriter James Bay. A soulful, bluesy Brit rocker, he sounds like the midway point between Hozier and Sam Smith — retro without being kitschy about it.

Meet singer-songwriter James Bay. A soulful, bluesy Brit rocker, he sounds like the midway point between Hozier and Sam Smith — retro without being kitschy about it.

Republic Records

At just 24, with only a handful of EPs under his belt, the Hitchin-born musician recently earned a coveted spot on the BBC’s annual Sound Of… critics poll and will be opening for Taylor Swift on the European leg of her 1989 tour later this year.

It’s appropriate, then, that the not-quite-throwback singer gave a searing performance of “Scars,” a not-quite-break-up song, in a recreation of the historic CBGB nightclub.

James Bay

James Bay

Surrounded by actual walls salvaged from the iconic venue, the up-and-comer also talked about the story behind the song and explained why it took over a year to complete.

James Bay

James Bay

Watch the stirring acoustic performance now, exclusively on BuzzFeed.

James Bay’s debut album Chaos And The Calm is out March 23 and available on iTunes First Play starting today. Listen now!

34 Brilliant British Singer-Songwriters To Discover

via Buzzfeed

Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed
2. James Bay, Hitchin.

James Bay , Hitchin.

Alex Shahmiri / Via Facebook: jamesbaymusic

Folk pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

7. Minnie Birch, Hemel Hempstead.

Minnie Birch , Hemel Hempstead.

“Mend your heart songs.” iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

9. Billie Marten, London.

Billie Marten , London.

Nicholas Thompson / Via Facebook: billiemarten

Ethereal pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

10. Jon Gomm, Leeds.

Jon Gomm , Leeds.

Roland Wichser / Via Facebook: jongommofficial

Acoustic blues/folk. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

12. Davy Knowles, Isle of Man.

Davy Knowles , Isle of Man.

Alex Mealin / Via Facebook: DavyKnowles

Breakneck blues. Albums | Facebook | Twitter

13. Sinah, London.

Sinah , London.

Andreas Hornoff / Via Facebook: sinahofficial

Electro-pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

14. Jack Garratt, London.

Jack Garratt , London.

Soulful alt-pop. iTunes | Twitter | Facebook

16. Douglas Dare, London.

Douglas Dare , London.

Dusan Kacan / Via Facebook: douglasdaremusic

Alt-pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

17. Robyn Sherwell, Guernsey/London.

Robyn Sherwell , Guernsey/London.

Hannah Smiles / Via Facebook: robynsherwellmusic

Electro-pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

18. Adam French, Cheshire/London.

Adam French , Cheshire/London.

Blues rock. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

19. Kirsty Merryn, London.

Kirsty Merryn , London.

“Sad songs that make you feel better.” iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

21. Polly Paulusma, Cambridge.

Polly Paulusma , Cambridge.

Acoustic folk. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

23. Nina Nesbitt, Edinburgh.

Nina Nesbitt , Edinburgh.

Acoustic rock. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

24. Longy, London/Essex.

Longy , London/Essex.

eYe $eE y / Via Facebook: whoislongy

Blues/Rock. Music | Facebook | Twitter

25. Lauren Aquilina, London.

Lauren Aquilina , London.

“Reverby piano magical stuff.” iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

27. Little Rach, Manchester.

Little Rach , Manchester.

Acoustic folk. Music | Facebook | Twitter

28. Jamie Walker, Hertfordshire.

Jamie Walker , Hertfordshire.

Uplifting piano pop. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

29. Hana, Penarth/Cardiff.

Hana , Penarth/Cardiff.

Electro pop. Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

30. Harry Harris, London.

Harry Harris , London.

Acoustic folk. iTunes | Facebook | Twitter

33. Aaron, London.

Aaron , London.

Dreamy pop. YouTube | Facebook | Twitter

This is by no means a definitive list. If there is a British singer songwriter you want to tell the world about, add a link to their work in the comments.