James Bay lands top five spot in the Official Album Charts

18 July, 2022

BIMM Institute Brighton graduate James Bay has released his third studio album, which has soared to number four in the UK’s Official Album Charts. Leap arrived a week after BIMM Institute Bristol graduate George Ezra logged his third UK no.1 album. Achieving a charted album is no easy feat, and we’re super proud of both James and George.

Originally from Hitchin, James moved to Brighton to study with us and began to perform on Brighton’s bustling open mic circuit. He then caught the attention of Republic Records A&R after a fan uploaded a video to YouTube of him performing at an open mic in London, and within a week, he signed to the label. His first EP, The Dark of the Morning, was released in 2013. Within a year, he was selling out his first UK headline tour.

Album production on Leap began in the spring of 2020 at the historic RCA Studio A in Nashville, Tennessee and was released over two years later on 8 July 2022 through Mercury and Republic Records. The album includes production and songwriting from multi-Grammy award-winning country music specialist Dave Cobb, Gingerbread Man signee Foy Vance, Harry Styles collaborator Ian Fitchuk, Taylor Swift collaborator Joel Little and Billie Eilish’s producer and brother, Finneas.

James’ previous two albums received wide critical acclaim, with Chaos and the Calm and Electric Blue landing at no.1 and no.2, respectively.

NME gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, with journalist Ali Shutler calling the album “a bold, self-assured collection of songs about satisfaction”, concluding that Leap is a “touching, delicate record that finally sees Bay entirely comfortable with who he is”.

James has just finished his record store tour of the UK with a larger international tour booked for later this year. BIMM Institute Brighton Principal Martin Wright had this to add:

“BIMM Institute Brighton is proud to have such an incredible graduate as James Bay return to Brighton to perform a sold-out show at Chalk. We have some fortunate students attending the gig as guests, who also have an exciting opportunity to meet James in person and talk through his experience in the industry. We wish James every success with the new album ‘Leap’ and the rest of his tour”.


Keep up to date with James Bay on his Instagram account and discover more of our alumni at our success stories page here.

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