AceShowbiz - James Bay has called his girlfriend "the coolest person in the world" while speaking about his relationship for the first time.
The "Hold Back the River" star has been dating childhood sweetheart Lucy Smith for 13 years, and credits her for encouraging him to pursue a career in music.
And despite having remained resolutely silent about his personal life up until this point, James said his new singles and album are about his romance, so he felt it was the right time to open up.
"I'm a really private person," he told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "My home life is a very intimate thing for me but I'm ready to talk about her for the first time. These next singles and album are a bit of a tribute to the 13-year journey my girlfriend and I have been on."
Gushing about Lucy, James smiled: "She's the coolest person in the world. We were close friends before we were in a relationship."
"Back in the day, we would be sitting in on a Wednesday night watching TV, and she would say, 'Hang on, if you want to be a big artist one day, surely you should be out in some pub or club playing some songs right now'."
"She instilled that in me, and I got out and did it... I wouldn't be here without her."
James' first new single, "Chew On My Heart", is taken from his upcoming third album, and he describes it as an "outpouring of love" which is a recurring theme across his new material.
"When I come home from tour, I burst through the door and throw my arms around my girl, and she'll just say, 'OK, relax, cool'," he smiled. "It's cheesy, but I wrote it from that perspective."
"In the past, I had often written from a place of sadness. During this process, I really zeroed in on what's positive and great in my life. The lyrics really reflect that positivity."