Ingrid Holder- the little lady behind krosfyah
by Michelle SpringerShe’s the little lady behind the scenes that makes it possible for soca fans to see Edwin Yearwood and krosfyah appear live at home and abroad. During the Crop-Over season fans and followers of the group were able to enjoy partying in person with the band at no fewer than ten major gigs. Their reputation for good soca music has been getting them their bookings over the past 20 years hither, thither and yon; and it is Ingrid Holder’s role to make sure they get there. Fans, followers and colleagues of the band might see Ingrid backstage at events when the band performs, or “working the door” on cash; and usually she is deep in concentration making sure everything is as it should be for the gang.
On paper she is defined as the corporate secretary and public relations manager of Crossfire Ventures, the umbrella organization that runs the band. In a nutshell, she admits to being the “chief cook and bottle washer”. Basically she is responsible for the day-to-day running of krosfyah, from rehearsal call times 000000000000000000000000to soundcheck confirmation, bookings, tours, show verification, public relations, set list, dress code, among others. And, it all started out from her love of music, which was forged in her girl days playing piano in church. “I’m a granny’s girl, and she got me into it . . . . I’ve always had a passion for music, but not necessarily at the forefront. I prefer to be behind the scenes doing the hard work,” she said.
She acknowledged that very often the general public would see the glitz and glamour of the music business. “But there’s a lot of mire in it – from stage production, to presentation, to running order to the stage design and imagery. I do all that. I’m the person who calls the colour codes for the band when they appear on stage that works with the overall theme of the gig,” she said. Having worked with MADD Entertainment as a stage manager she learned much about the intricacies of stage for her well rounded show business skills. She is passionate about her work, and the extra tasks hardly seem extra. But to understand her passion is also to understand that she started out as a follower of the krosfyah band.
“I was an avid fan of the band for many years and got closer from 1997 when their former manager left. I got a call from Michael Agard [co-director of Crossfire Ventures] asking if I would be interested,” she recalled. But it doesn’t end there. She also manages Edwin’s solo career and describes it as “an engrossing job in itself”. “Edwin’s like my son,” she said smiling. Edwin lauded her presence with Crossfire Ventures, as well as with his own career path. “She is part of the backbone [and] does more than her fair share,” he told EASY. His sentiments were echoed by Tony Rebel Bailey, guitarist with the band and co-director of Crossfire Ventures.
“Her role is very important . . . . She is really a lover of music. And also her energy is amazing. Because dealing with entertainers could be really hard. She is great at organizing and also has a willingness to put up her hand when most will run away,” he said.Starcom Network’s listeners on HOTT 95.3 FM know her also by her peculiar bubbly effervescent voice. She hosts the LIME one-hour promotion on Saturday mornings and is accompanied by deejay Bubbles. “I was doing an on-air promotion for krosfyah in 2004 and Cable & Wireless was sponsoring the band at the time. The then corporate communications manager was impressed and asked me if I would co-host their radio show. Back then it was the bMobile Link-Up show,” she said, admitting the best part about working on the radio was making people smile. “People often tell me if they feel down and they listen to the show, they start to feel chirpier. I also like to choose uplifting music or music with a message whatever the genre. I usually sit down the night before and choose the theme and just before the show I would go over it with Bubbles,” she said.
Since forming Live Wire, her own PR company in the same year, Ingrid has expanded her portfolio to include artist management and liaison duties, event promotion and CD distributions. She has worked at several events throughout the region with some of the biggest names in entertainment – from R&B and soul artistes, reggae and soca artistes such as Joe Jackson, Neyo, Trey Songz, Regina Belle, among others, Beenie Man, Jah Cure, Beres Hammond, Capleton and Machel Montano, Skinny Fabulous, David Rudder and Shadow, as well as several local artistes, including the Barbadian superstar Rihanna before she became the international sensation she is today.
“She came home in October 2005 for a show and I had her in the studio with me. It went really well and it was good to interview her before she blew up internationally,” Ingrid said. She also recalled working with Joe Jackson, father of the deceased king of pop Michael Jackson, who was so pleased with her work that he publicly declared: “If I had an Ingrid in Las Vegas I would get more done.” She has also tried her hand at show promotion with resounding success. In 2007 she staged the Face To Face Concert, featuring Tarrus Riley and 2Face Idibia which 3 200 patrons attended. She’s also planning a concert with R&B artiste Trey Songz in the coming months.
How does she get it all done? In a word, discipline. The former Springer Memorial student is the mother of a 17-year-old daughter Shaquille, and credits her strong family ties to the balance needed to raise a teenager in today’s world, particularly as she is often on tour with krosfyah, or with Gold Coast, another local entertainment entity. “I’m a granny’s girl and was brought up with certain attributes that I’ve passed onto her [daughter]. I was taught that a disciplined mind makes a successful person, and that is something I’ve tried to instill in her,” she said, proudly adding that Shaquille’s achievements, including being headgirl at the Lester Vaughn Secondary School from 2008 to 2009, were an indicator of such a solid upbringing.