She may be only 27 but singer and guitar player Chantel McGregor has already been hailed for her stunning live performances and effortless rock and roll musicianship.
The former Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School pupil is a veteran of the British Blues Awards, winning Young Musician of the Year in 2011 and Female Vocalist of the Year in 2012.
She has formed her own record label, toured with American blues artist Joe Bonamassa and appeared on a special CD celebrating 60 years of the Fender Telecaster guitar.
Now gigging round the UK with support from a bass player and drummer, Chantel, who lives with her family at Wyke, is soon off to tour Finland and Belgium.
But before then she is playing at the Meeting Room, Elland’s newest music venue, on Friday, May 18. “It’s the first time I’ve played there are and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m quite a shy person but I seem to lose my nerves once I get on stage.
“Playing live to a good audience is one of the best feelings in the world,” she said.
Chantel says he was given her first guitar at the age of three. She began taking lessons at seven, became the youngest person to pass a Rock School exam at eight and gigged with bands from the age of ten.
Despite being told as a teenager that she had ‘a great voice but girls don’t play guitar like that’, Chantel persisted with her musical ambitions and enrolled at Leeds College of Music - becoming the first student to achieve a 100 per cent pass mark. Her debut album ‘Like No Other’ was released last year and she is now writing songs for her second release.
“I’m one of those people who needs total peace and quiet when I’m writing new songs. The writing has to stop when I’m on tour.
“I really enjoy creating my own songs - it’s a fantastic way of being able to say what I normally wouldn’t say in everyday life and getting my feelings out.”
Last year Chantel was one of a group of artists selected for the BBC Introducing Masterclass 2012, an iniative designed to supported unsigned and undiscovered artists.
Chantel’s gig at The Meeting Room, Marshall Hall Mills, Elland, is at 7.30pm on May 18. Tickets are £12, to book call 01422 370333.