In this intimate series of interviews, I capture the magnetic pulse of Amber Noble Garland. She confidently discusses her diverse career portfolio, her industry trials, and most importantly, how having a two-year-old daughter named Leah put her hustles all in perspective.
Konnectshun: What are some of the nicest gestures your former or current clients or artists that you have worked with have made toward you?
In October of 1998, four years before I even began working at a record company, I received a phone call and an invitation of a lifetime. Patti LaBelle is someone I’ve known personally and professionally since I was a teenager. Ms. Pat invited me to be her special guest at the red carpet premiere of Oprah Winfrey’s film “Beloved” that took place in our hometown of Philadelphia. The bigger surprise was that she also took me to an exclusive after-party reception where I met, dined and had cocktails with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King. That still goes down in the record books for me as one of the best days of my entire life!
I repped Idris Elba’s for about five years during my time at Def Jam. This was around the time when he was playing Stringer Bell on HBO’s “The Wire.” Idris was always incredibly popular, but he often preferred to downplay his popularity and just fly under the radar. Without fail, each and every time he’d work on creating a new song or we’d work on producing a new mixtape, Idris would come up to Def Jam while quietly and humbly waiting in the cut in my office until I could finish with my meetings. He did that just so I could hear what he was working on musically and so I could give him my thoughts on various scripts he was considering for roles. He valued my opinion on his music and acting work so much that being gawked at like a piece of meat by my female co-workers didn’t even phase him!
When I was LL Cool J’s product manager a Def Jam, I was stricken with debilitating back pain and had to be rushed from my office to the hospital. Within a couple of weeks I had to have back surgery. During my week in the bed recovering, LL called me in hospital to let me know that he said a prayer for me and everything was going to be alright, so I shouldn’t stress about job while I was healing and he sent me a beautiful flower arrangement.
When Chrisette Michele got signed to Def Jam we bonded. We had a big sister-little sister relationship. One day, I asked her if she’d sing at my wedding if I found a husband. Two years later, Chrisette rushed to my house to get ready with me and my bridal party after flying in early from a paid date in Cleveland just so she could sing me down the aisle to her hit song, “Golden” at my church. We were both in tears before it was all said and done.
On New Year’s Day, Q Parker sent me a nice message thanking me for being a great manager and partner. He also said he appreciated me for helping him exceed the income goal he set for himself 2013. That was a pretty cool way to start off my 2014.
Egypt Sherrod has been thoughtful to me on a number of occasions in the over two decades we’ve worked together and been friends. I think one of the nicest things she’s ever done for me as a client, was to give me a gift certificate for a full day at a very posh spa with a note that read, “Amber you deserve a day of pampering, because you work so hard to make sure everyone else is comfortable and well taken of.” That was so unexpected and thoughtful.
Laila Ali has been encouraging presence in my life, but especially when I decided to have a baby. As a mom herself, she was very understanding and supportive of me having a baby. While I was pregnant, Laila never pressured me and she even surprised me by sending me a huge box maternity clothes and a ton of baby clothes for my daughter, Leah, before she was even born.
Jamie Foster Brown called and/or emailed me every single day to check on me when my back when out and I was on bedrest. She didn’t want to discuss any business with me, and only wanted to talk about my recovery, as well as if I was eating properly or not. She’s very caring and thoughtful.
From my clients and partners to my assistant, Kristen, to Syreta Oglesby who works with me on publicity and connecting the dots, my husband, my mom, family and good friends, I am truly blessed to be surrounded by people who genuinely want to see me excel and give me the support I need to be my best self!
Originally posted on Mommynoire.com