You might have seen Amber Grimes on Oxygen’s hit show Like a Boss, but how much do you really know about this Mogul in the making? This Atlanta born Girl Boss got her start in the Entertainment Business at the tender age of 16. That’s right, while we were worrying about an English final, Amber was making power moves in her home town of Atlanta. Shortly after she worked directly under Def Jam’s VP of A&R Abou “Bu” Thiam, the youngest person to be appointed VP at Def Jam. Now she is Nick Cannon’s right hand lady assisting with everything “Ncredible” along with her own business ventures inspiring future Girl Bosses a long the way!
Gabrielle Amani: What got you in the entertainment business?
Amber Grimes: I didn’t choose it, it kind of naturally chose me. I grew up around it and the party scene in Atlanta was like a gateway to it.
Gabrielle Amani: How does a 16-year-old get into parties? Did you sneak out the house?
Amber Grimes: I had the gift of gab, (Amber Laughs). My friends and I definitely looked 16, actually we probably looked 12 since we didn’t have all the highlighting and contouring back in the day. My sister was older than me, so I just generally hung out with older people and from there I learned how to network early and build relationships, so I could get in any where I wanted. I would pass out flyers at my school for
promoters that did teen parties and in turn they would let me in their older crowd parties, so I just worked it.
Gabrielle Amani: How did a 20-year-old get hired as Def Jam’s Executive Assistant?
Amber Grimes: This was something that also came from networking and building relationships. But, the VP of A&R’s signed an artist I was managing and things didn’t quite work out between them and the artist, but I had built my own professional relationship with Bu’s team and when the position opened (thank God) they thought of me first.
Gabrielle Amani: Did you enjoy your time at Def Jam?
Amber Grimes: I definitely enjoyed and appreciated getting the experience of the entertainment world on the corporate side. It made me very wise and mature in the business early on. I met one of my industry mentors there, Dina Marto, got to build relationships with very important staples in the Atlanta music scene, like Kawan ‘KP’ Prather, and I actually met Nick Cannons former assistant, Dollie Bishop here which is how I ended up on the show “Like A Boss!”
Gabrielle Amani: Why did you leave Dej Jam?
Amber Grimes: I left when Bu left, I was working directly with him and was honored that he wanted to continue our working relationship after his time there.
Gabrielle Amani: How is working with Nick Cannon?
Amber Grimes: Ncredible! (pun intended) I learn so much just from listening to him talk and watching how he moves. It’s great to work with someone who believes in me and wants to see me grow. Those are rare traits to find in this business.
Gabrielle Amani: How important is a good work ethic to you?
Amber Grimes: It’s really all that has mattered in my career. That’s what people know me for, getting things done, figuring things out, and making things happen. I don’t have a degree, all I’ve ever had was a little experience and my word that I would rise to the occasion. People have given me shots at things I never imagined I’d be involved in just because they know my work ethic, I will figure it out.
Gabrielle Amani: Many girls dream about being on a reality show. What was your experience like?
Amber Grimes: My experience was awesome. I got to be myself and I got to show the best part of me, my hustle. A lot of girls dream about being on reality shows but they don’t understand what they have to sacrifice to do that or who they may have to become. I’m happy in my experience, the production team and the network wanted to empower women and make us look powerful.
Gabrielle Amani: Were you initially nervous to be on TV?
Amber Grimes: I wont lie, I had my doubts every now and then but I would always rather say “I can’t believe I did that” then spend the rest of my life saying “I wish I would have done that.” Experience is everything, no matter how it turns out.
Gabrielle Amani: You got your start in Music, what made you fall in love with TV and film?
Amber Grimes: I’ve always wanted to be able to touch people, with my story and what I have to say. I don’t rap, I don’t sing, so that wasn’t the way for me. I was able to brand myself very well through my work in the music industry but on TV I could reach people differently, and that was the light for me. It clicked and I realized that was how I could reach the masses and do my small part in changing the world, by changing the content and the message on TV.
Gabrielle Amani: You seem to be very busy. How do you balance it all?
Amber Grimes: I write things down, I make a to do list, I set alarms. The only time I couldn’t balance my workload was when I was treating everything like an URGENT matter, I do give everything 100% but I know how to schedule things now and prioritize.
Gabrielle Amani: Advice Time! A lot of our readers ask this question. How do you get started in the music and entertainment industry?
Amber Grimes: You just GET STARTED! Get in where you fit in and work you’re way up to where you want to be. Meet people, build relationships and let people know what you want to do. Just do SOMETHING to get your foot in the door and then never stop pushing through that door. Only the strong survive in this industry, so you have to be more action than talk. Just GET STARTED in some way,
with what you have and what you know.
Gabrielle Amani: Is becoming an assistant a great start?
Amber Grimes: Assisting is an excellent start. You basically get a birds eye view to the industry and all the different positions its possible to hold because you deal with everybody. If you play it properly it can be a crash course in becoming (better than) the person you work for, apprenticeship is the best experience.
Gabrielle Amani: What next for Amber?
Amber Grimes: I want to change the way young black women look on TV. We’re smart, we’re strong, and we’re valuable and I want to shine the light on that.
You can keep up with Amber and her projects on her social media pages at BurrCardi
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