James Bay changed his image to fit with new music

James Bay decided to ditch his signature long hair and hat because he felt his image didn’t fit with his new music.
The British singer-songwriter emerged on the scene sporting shoulder-length hair and a fedora hat and won legions of fans with his 2014 smash hit Hold Back the River and 2015 record Chaos and the Calm, which was the biggest-selling debut album of that year.
James, 27, shocked fans when he turned up on the red carpet at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November (17) without his signature headgear and much shorter hair, and has now revealed the reason he changed his image.
“The hat and the hair was a visual that came with a sort of sonic signature, which wasn’t breaking the mould,” he told BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac. “But as soon as I wrote the first couple of songs for this record, I went, ‘Well, this isn’t the hat and the hair guy.'”
James debuted the first single from his new album, the pop-influenced Wild Love, on Annie’s show, and explained that his forthcoming record is totally different to his debut.
“I’ve discovered that world of analogue synths and programmed drums,” James explained. “I’ve had the most fun smashing them up against these organic instrumental approaches that have always been very me – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, acoustic drum kits.”
The new record even features him singing with autotune, as James has been inspired by the way U.S. hip-hop artists have used it to create a unique sound.
“Autotune was such a dirty word for such a long time,” he added. “But look at the way Kanye (West) and Chance The Rapper have used it. They treat it like a guitar pedal: They have a clean signal, which is their voice, and they put it through autotune to mess with the original sound, just like a fuzz pedal and fuzzes up the sound of a guitar.”