See What James Bay Can't Live Without -- From His Ultimate Hat to His Hotel Hot Spot

James Bay
Courtesy Photo

James Bay

Since his 2015 debut, Chaos and the Calm (Republic), the 25-year-old Brit has shared a stage with The Rolling Stones, opened for Taylor Swift, landed three Grammy Award nominations and traveled around the globe on an 80-show tour that will bring him back ­stateside on Sept. 19. Though there are his tour bus basics ("At least one guitar, pen and paper. And ­lighting. I hate neon ­lighting"), Bay, who never hits the stage without a brimmed hat, opens up to Billboard about his favorite things on and off the road.

Room With A View

"Hotel on Rivington on the Lower East Side of  Manhattan -- one of my favorite places in the world." (107 Rivington St., New York)


"There's an Australian brand called Akubra that I like -- Gigi at hatWRKS in Nashville stocks them every time I come through." (hatWRKS Akubra Sydney Charcoal Open Crown, price upon request; 1027 Eighth Ave. S., Nashville)


"I like my tea 'the color of Tom Peel' -- Tom is my oldest friend and the bass player in my band and has a particularly great tan all the time. So that's how I like my tea: just a bit of milk and one small sugar."


"Recently, I've been wearing a black Saint Laurent leather jacket with fake snakeskin tassels. The tassels are a bit ridiculous, I know, but that's half the reason I love it. Something a little outrageous and unpredictable is always exciting to throw on." (Saint Laurent Classic Motorcycle Jacket in black washed leather, $5,490;


"No.Tom guitars on the famous Denmark Street in London stocks some pretty fantastic stuff, great old and rare instruments." (No.Tom Guitars, 6 Denmark St., London)


"My most favorite at the moment are a pair of well-battered, laceless DM boots with a really soft, cushioned foot bed. I found them 'round the corner from a venue we were playing last summer in Ohio. I'd been wearing one type of boot forever and fancied a change, and they were perfect." (Dr. Martens Smooth Black Boot, $130;


"Cereal. Cereal everywhere, always cereal. Even when I'm at home, I'll have a boiled egg and soldiers [thin toast slices], but cereal is still the best."

Place To Get A Trim

"I go to Joe [Mills] at Joe & Co. in Soho, London. He's a very talented and seasoned pro." (22 Peter St., London)


"I love a cup of tea. But at the other end of the day, a really good Malbec." (Alpamanta "Natal" 2013 Malbec, $12.96;

This article originally appeared in the July 23 issue of Billboard.


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