It’s the passion and love for what she does that keeps Ingrid Holder going.
She’s the manager of Livewire Entertainment, radio host, artiste manager for Edwin Yearwood, Leadpipe And Saddis, Ian Webster and Simon Pipe and public relations manager for Krosfyah Venture Limited. And for Ingrid this is life.
While she did not always know this was the path she wanted to take in life, Ingrid believes that the job was for her, following an introduction to Edwin Yearwood back in 1994. Ingrid admitted that since that introduction, her life was never the same again.
“When it comes to the local aspect where Edwin and krosfyah are concerned, like most people I started out as a fan; I always loved krosfyah music. I was introduced to Edwin back in 1994 and, as they say, the rest is history . . . . We have become very good friends. He’s actually my best friend.
“At the time he asked me to be a part of the unit when a secretary was leaving back in 2003; he asked me if I would be interested in taking up that role, and I did. I also started working with Madd Entertainment in 1997,” Ingrid explained.
Ingrid told Bajan Vibes she never envisioned that this would be her day job, but said she always had dreams of meeting celebrities and saying “hi”.
“When I was at school, I think it was in 1988, the Pointer Sisters went here. I didn’t get to go to the show, but when I was in class I would always say I would like to get a chance to meet some of those artistes. I always used to dream about getting to meeting Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson, just to say hi because I love their music,” the former Springer Memorial student said.
Now, entertainment and working and interacting with artistes from all walks surround her life. Ingrid admits she would not trade it for the world.
“I had a love for it. For entertainment you have to have a love because it is a lot of hard work and dedication. It gives me the opportunity to be among the local artistes and the international artistes when they visit the island. Once you get into that market you also have the potential to get more doors opened, based on the links that you make.”
And many opportunities have opened up for the unpretentious manager; and she is indeed thankful.
She is now the radio promoter for the Barbados Reggae Festival and the Barbados Music Awards. She is also the artistes’ liaison person when they come to the island for the various events.
And for her, working with the artistes is the most fun –– and rewarding.
“Crop Over is the biggest time for me. Surprisingly, I get it handled. Most of my artistes are usually on the same event. In a case where they are not on the same event, I would identify what the times are. In some instances I would have someone who would assist me with Edwin.
“I usually go with Leadpipe And Saddis because they are still young. I call them the babies. I’m trying to get them to understand time management. Things would usually go awry with them; so I’m trying to focus on them. They’re the ones I’m always with or behind, or dropping places because they don’t drive. The others have vehicles.
“Outside of that Ian [Webster] is pretty in on the whole industry; he is not a problem at all. He knows what he wants and he goes after it. He recently joined the camp. So this year would be my first hands-on with him. It’s like a family,” Ingrid said.
And for the most part she does it singlehandedly; and this is how she prefers it.
“It’s me, myself and I in Livewire. At times, my daughter Shaquille assists where she can. She just got a job; so she would assist when she’s off . . . . But I usually just multitask. I find I do it very well,” the mother of one said.
“If the time comes and I do need some help I would have to identify one or two people who are keen on doing what I do and doing it similar to me. Because sometimes you can show someone how its done, but obviously its not going to be a replica of what you do, because no one can do what you do like you,” Ingrid added.
Apart from working with the local artistes, Ingrid also does bookings for other artistes.
“I do a series of bookings for other artistes across other genres –– soca, reggae, you name it. On the reggae scene I have been able to work with the likes of Beres Hammond, Tarrus Riley. I do bookings right now for Tarrus Riley, I-Ocatane, Junior Kelly,” she revealed.
And on the wider international front, Ingrid has had the enviable opportunity of meeting and working with a number of artistes.
“When it comes to the Hollywood side, thanks to Ronnie Morris, he first brought Fantasia here for the 2010 [Barbados Music] Awards. I also met Michael Jackson’s dad Joe Jackson there. Since then Vivica Fox and Morris Chestnut came . . . .”
Ingrid has also formed personal relationships with some of them, especially Fantasia.
“When Fantasia became pregnant in 2011, she asked me if I would be godmum to her son. I was shocked, but very happy. I guess based on how she experienced Barbados . . . and the accommodation that I offered her she asked me to be godmum.”
The artiste manager continued: “I got to meet Cissy Housten at the BMAs, and ever since then I have been close to Aunty Cissy. For her 80th birthday her PA invited me up to the party and she didn’t know I was coming. She was in total shock when she saw me. Things like that mean a lot to me.”
But this fast-paced life does not allow for much downtime, if any at all.
“I would think usually when I get to travel, and even then that’s going to an event. When I’m waiting in my bed to be picked up, that’s my downtime,” she said.
Looking at Ingrid, one would never believe that this mother of one can do so much, but though of small stature –– and make no mistake about it –– she is a very powerful woman. She has plans on making Livewire Entertainment even bigger this year.
“For entertainment it’s a major hustle. For the local scene I’m always busy, and for the international scene I’m always busy. I book artistes, as I said. I do one or two recommendations for a few people as well. I think in 2015 and going forward, Livewire will probably be expanding.
“Just recently I was contacted by another artiste and very good friend –– Jimmy Cozier. He asked me if I would become part of his management team. He does know my hands are full, but I am considering it. He thinks my hand can become a little fuller. In consideration of that I think that is going to open some major doors,” she said.
“Locally I think I have touched whom I wanted to. I pretty much have my hands full with whom I have at the moment. Internationally, I would have loved to work with Whitney or Michael, but unfortunately they passed before I was able to meet them. Outside of that I love Prince and Tina Turner.”
Ingrid lives by the philosophy Take Each Day One Day At A Time.
“My motto is Meet Me At The Top; The Bottom Is Too Crowded,” and this indeed pays off for her.
But Ingrid Holder readily admits that all would not have been possible if she had not taken the advice of her best friend Edwin many years ago.
“I thank Edwin Yearwood for encouraging me years ago. He said, ‘This is you, this is your niche market and its your passion. Go after it!’. So I would really like to thank him for that.”