At just 25 years old and off the strength of his debut album Chaos and the Calm, UK artist James Bay has already hit career milestones that most artists can only dream of.

Bay first picked up the guitar at age 11 after hearing Derek and the Dominos’ "Layla" (a band featuring Eric Clapton). This in turn led him to discover other great guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

While he’s admitted to tinkering more with the piano as time has gone on, Bay says that it’s mainly the pursuit of melody while playing his guitar that fuels his songwriting process. A process that Bay described as “painful” in a 2014 interview with PopCrush. He goes on to say that while songwriting’s a great time when everything turns out well; “You kind of find yourself splitting hairs and tearing your hair out, quite literally, trying to decide what’s the right lyric, what’s the right melody, all that stuff.”

All that hair pulling has paid off as Bay has scored himself three Grammy Nominations for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album for Chaos and the Calm, and Best Rock Song for “Hold Back the River.” We’ll find out how Bay does on February 15th.