Guy Antony Chambers (born 12 January 1963 in Hammersmith, London) is an English songwriter, musician and record producer, best known for his work with Robbie Williams, although he has written songs with other artists including Caro Emerald, Rufus Wainwright, Katy B, Marlon Roudette, Miles Kane, Mark Ronson, John Newman, Kylie Minogue, Example, The Wanted, James Blunt, Melanie C, Katie Melua, Schmidt, Tina Turner, Zak Abel and many others.
|Birth name||Guy Antony Chambers|
|Born||12 January 1963|
Hammersmith, London, England, United Kingdom
|Occupation(s)||Musician, record producer, songwriter|
|Associated acts||Caro Emerald, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, The Wanted, Example, Marlon Roudette, James Blunt, Melanie C, Katy B, Rufus Wainwright, Tina Turner, Miles Kane, Sophie Hunter, Katie Melua|
Chambers wrote music from an early age and had performed in London when he was just 11. When he was 15, Chambers composed and performed in a rock opera for King David High School in Liverpool, where he took O level and CSE examinations. He attended the Kate Bush live tour at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, captivated by her piano playing.
Chambers attended Quarry Bank Comprehensive School sixth form in Liverpool, the same school at which John Lennon had been educated. From 18, he studied composition and piano at the Guildhall School of Music, London, winning the composition prize in 1985. While at the Guildhall, Chambers started to record his own songs and performed with a band called 'The Burmoe Brothers', releasing their first single, featuring Marc Almond - "Skin", on Some Bizarre Records, in 1984. After graduating he toured as a keyboard player with, among others, Julian Cope and The Waterboys before joining World Party in 1986. He co-wrote, with Karl Wallinger, on the band's most successful album: Bang!. He appeared on The Mission's Carved in Sand, providing the orchestral arrangement and keyboards for the song "Grapes of Wrath" and was producer for the short-lived group Stress with their eponymous debut album.
In 1992 Chambers formed his own band The Lemon Trees and wrote, produced and performed with them until they disbanded in 1995. The band only released one album, though a second one was completed but not released. Following the end of The Lemon Trees, Chambers spent time writing successfully with Cathy Dennis and others until a meeting facilitated by music industry veteran Paul Curran with Robbie Williams in January 1997.
Collaboration with Robbie Williams
Chambers collaborated as songwriter, producer and musical director on Robbie Williams' first five solo albums, all of which reached number 1 in the United Kingdom album chart and have globally sold over 40 million records. He also collaborated with Williams' 2013 album Swings Both Ways, which became the 1000th number 1 album in the UK, and Williams' eleventh number 1 album, equalling Elvis Presley.
For his work with Williams, Chambers won three BRITS, three Ivor Novello awards, a Q classic Songwriter award, MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects (for "Rock DJ") and an MMF best produced record award for I've Been Expecting You.
In November 2012, Chambers and Williams were reunited onstage for the latter's sell-out shows at the O2 Arena. Chambers and Williams continue to write, record and perform together. Chambers was music director on the Swings Both Ways Live tour and Let Me Entertain You Tour.
The release of Swings Both Ways was announced by Williams in September 2013. It was released in the UK by Island Records on 18 November. The album featured cover versions of well known songs, as well as six new tracks written by Williams and Guy Chambers, who also produced the album. Swings Both Ways also featured duets between Williams and Lily Allen, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Olly Murs and Rufus Wainwright. In 2014 Chambers & Williams toured Swings Both Ways, covering Europe, Asia and Australia.
Chambers co-wrote and produced Under the Radar Volume 1 comprising demos, B-sides and rarities. It was released exclusively through Williams' website on 1 December 2014.
In 2015 Chambers joined Robbie Williams on the road for the Let Me Entertain You Tour. The tour began in Spain and travelled through Europe and Asia, reaching Australia in October. They also played at various festivals throughout the summer. They continue to write and tour together.
In 2019 it was announced that Chambers and Williams would be working on the music for The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company, adapted from the David Walliams book for the stage by Mark Ravenhill.
Chambers released his debut solo album, Go Gentle Into the Light, on 3 May 2019 via BMG. The album features a host of Robbie Williams and Chambers' songs played as piano instrumentals by Chambers. It reached number 49 on the UK Albums Chart.
In 2009, Chambers worked with Beverley Knight, co-writing the song "100%", also the name of her album. He teamed up with Christophe Willem on his second record Cafeine, co-wrote with Matt Hales from Aqualung on the single "Heartbox" and with Cathy Dennis on "Sensitized", a duet with Kylie Minogue, for Cathy's solo record, released in 2009. Additional work that year involved new work with British artists Julian Perretta, Katie Melua, Random Impulse, Marlon Roudette and Taio Cruz.
In 2010 Chambers began working on the single "World Behind My Wall" released by pop/rock band Tokio Hotel, that year's winners of MTV Best Group and NRJ Best International Band Awards. Chambers also co-wrote Tokio Hotel's track, "Pain of Love" which featured on their album, Humanoid. Katie Melua's album The House, released 24 May 2010, included five co-written songs for her new album produced by William Orbit, including "I'd Like to Kill You", "The Flood" (first single), "A Happy Place", "A Moment of Madness" and "Tiny Alien". Chambers also worked on the track "Virtual Friend", co-written with Armin van Buuren for his new album, Mirage.
In 2011 Chambers worked on new material with English singer-songwriters Katy B and Charlene Soraia. He also teamed up with Example, co-writing the song "Microphone" which featured on Example's number 1 album, Playing in the Shadows. In the same year, Chambers worked with Marlon Roudette, producing and co-writing her single "New Age". The track was initially released in Germany for radio airplay in July 2011 and then officially released the next month. It went on to become #1 in the German singles charts the week of its release and remained at the top of the charts for 8 consecutive weeks. The single was certified Platinum in Germany and Switzerland, and Gold in Austria.
A track Chambers had written with Julian Lennon entitled "Never Let You Go" was released on Lennon's album Everything Changes.
Chambers collaborated with BBC2 for two three-part programmes: Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment airing in April and Secrets of a Pop Song which aired throughout July. Goldie's Band saw Chambers acting as a musical mentor to a group of disadvantaged young musicians, put together by Goldie, and ultimately leading the group to a performance in Buckingham Palace. Several of the artists discovered on this program that have gone on to have wider success include singer-songwriters Kwabs and Natalie Duncan and harmonica-virtuoso Will Pound. The series Secrets of a Pop Song explored the process of successful songwriting, collaborating with artists to write a new song each week – a ballad, an anthem and a breakthrough single – with a variety of musical contributors giving them advice on the music industry along the way. Through the series, Chambers worked alongside Mark Ronson to create a breakthrough single, acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright to create a ballad, and British band Noisettes to compose an anthem. Guy & Rufus' "World War III" features on the digital version of Rufus' album Out of the Game.
Chambers has collaborated twice with Sophie Hunter on two studio albums: the French-language The Isis Project (2005) and the English-language Songs for a Boy (2011).
In 2013, Chambers collaborated with Maverick Sabre in his new West London studio on new material for the artist, as well as working on new material with Rufus Wainwright, and co-writing "Out of Control" with Miles Kane, a track from Kane's second studio album Don't Forget Who You Are. In 2014 Chambers wrote "Crying for No Reason" with Katy B, which charted at #5 in the UK Singles Chart. In 2016 Chambers collaborated again with Kylie Minogue, Marlon Roudette, and Rufus Wainwright, and wrote and recorded with John Newman.
In 2012 Chambers started writing a children's folk opera which was to be an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde children's story The Selfish Giant. He completed this in 2017 and in 2018 Dominic Dromgoole's company Classic Spring included it as part of their Oscar Wilde season at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. It was also staged at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton.
In 2010 Chambers created a monthly live music experience, 'The Orgasmatron', at The Monarch on Chalk Farm Road, north London. The Orgasmatron continues to celebrate a wide variety of live acts from different musical genres picked by Chambers himself, and has included big names, rising stars, DJs and dancers. Those previously involved in the project include Mark Ronson, Paloma Faith, Beverley Knight, Example, Goldie, William Orbit, Gary Kemp and the Noisettes.
Advocacy and charity work
On 25 October 2012, Guy Chambers, Steve Rotheram MP and Kenny Dalglish called a press conference in the Houses of Parliament to announce the release of the charity single "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" – a cover of the Hollies track which was aiming to raise funds and awareness for the campaign for justice for the Hillsborough families who lost 96 loved ones in the football disaster of 1989. Artists featured on the single included: Paul McCartney, Mick Jones, Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith, Beverley Knight, Pete Wylie, Holly Johnson, Dave McCabe, Ren Harvieu, Paul Heaton, Hollie Cook, Jon McClure, John Power, Gerry Marsden, Rebecca Ferguson, Paul Heaton, Shane MacGowan, Melanie C as well as many others.
At the press conference in October 2012 Chambers said: "I am deeply honoured to be asked to produce this record for the 96. If we can help to raise money to support the families' legal battle so that they finally get their time in court then our job will be done. I spent my teenage years in Liverpool and feel a deep affection for both its musical heritage and the unique solidarity of its people."
Chambers and Mick Jones went on to be presented with Honorary Scouser awards by Liverpool Lord Mayor Cllr Sharon Sullivan.
As well as working on the Justice Collective single, Chambers is a supporter of many charities including:
- Roundhouse (Ambassador)
- Southbank Centre
- Teenage Cancer Trust
- Unicorn Theatre (Honorary Patron)
The Lemon Trees albums
- Open Book (1993, Oxygen Records/MCA Records)
Chambers has contributed as a musician, producer and/or writer to the following:
- Walk Like a Panther (2017)
- What a Man (2012) "New Age" – Marlon Roudette
- Arthur (2011) "Can't Buy You" – Mark Ronson & Daniel Merriweather
- Kinky Boots (2005)
- Fantastic Four (2005) "Always Come Back To You" – Ryan Cabrera
- Love Actually (2003) "I'll See It Through" – Texas
- Finding Nemo (2003) "Beyond The Sea" Robbie Williams
- Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) "Have You Met Miss Jones?", "Not of This Earth" – Robbie Williams
- A Knight's Tale (2001) "We Are the Champions" Robbie Williams
- Bend It Like Beckham (2002) "Dream The Dream" Shaznay Lewis
- Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998) "Man Machine" Robbie Williams
- Nobody Someday (2002) "Nobody Someday" Robbie Williams
- Mean Machine (2001) "Let Me Entertain You" Robbie Williams
- "Songwriter/Composer: CHAMBERS GUY ANTONY". Repertoire.bmi.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Corner, Lewis (12 September 2013). "Robbie Williams announces new album 'Swings Both Ways' – video". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- "Guy Chambers | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- "Hillsborough single is Christmas number one". Daily Telegraph UK. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 18th edition (May 2005), p. 608 ISBN 1-904994-00-8