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From singer to producer

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James Gregory and Mia Chambray on their wedding day (Photograph supplied)

Mia Chambray spent the two decades making a name for herself as a singer here, and in Northern England.

Marriage and motherhood changed her course.

“The last time I performed in the Bermuda Festival in 2018, I was six months pregnant with my son Gunner,” said Ms Chambray, who sang with her band Mohawk Radio.

This year, she is taking on a new role in the Bermuda Festival as organiser of this week’s performances by The Three Kings Band and The Full Watts Band.

“Pre-pandemic the Festival invited the community to put together a proposal if they wanted to produce a show for them,” she said. “I had never produced a show before, but entertainment is a language I knew well.

“It is different, but everyone has been really engaged [so] I am not finding it particularly overwhelming.”

She was introduced to the Three Kings Band in 2019 when she and her husband, James Gregory, played at The Wellbottom Sessions, organised by The Bermudian.

“I thought they were phenomenal. They told really beautiful stories of being Bermudian musicians. They have also performed internationally. I loved their original music.”

She met Daniel Frith, of reggae roots band The Full Watts, in 2011 when he was teaching a Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society summer camp.

“He is very lovely and inspirational,” Ms Chambray said.

She has been performing with her husband around the island on a small scale this year. On Thursday and Saturday nights they sing covers at Cafe Lido.

“We have moved away from Mohawk Radio,” she said. “We currently play as Mia and James, but going forward we will call ourselves In Love and Unplugged.”

The pair met while living in Manchester, England. Mr Gregory plays the guitar, drums, piano, violin, banjo and bass and also sings. For a long time they were best friends and wrote music together and “then we fell in love”.

James Gregory, Mia Chambray and their son Gunner (Photograph supplied)

They married in 2018, and moved back to Bermuda the next year, when their son Gunner was three months old. Ms Chambray now runs a green beauty company, Cassine, with her mother, Jennifer Page.

Gunner, 3, is already showing signs of being musical.

“He can’t help it,” Ms Chambray laughed. “We have more instruments than furniture in the house.”

When the couple performed in Mohawk Radio Unplugged in January, Gunner jumped in to sing Hotel California with them and charmed the crowd.

“Now we can’t bring him to shows any more,” Ms Chambray said. “He wants to get on stage and sing with us.”

She described this weekend’s show as a “real celebration”.

“There is going to be so much energy,” she said. “Both bands have been rehearsing hard. They will be giving it their all. These guys are really excited to get back on stage and perform for a lively and fun crowd. Tickets have been selling great.”

The Full Watts and The Three Kings will perform on Friday and Saturday at 8pm in the Victualling Yard in Dockyard. Tickets, $65, are available from bermudafestival.org

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Published May 16, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated May 16, 2022 at 7:52 am)

From singer to producer

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