By Lenell King:
If you are an American Idol fan, then you will definitely remember Amber Holcomb, the 19 year old Houston, Texas born singing sensation from the twelfth season. Her fourth place send off was disappointing to all her fans, however, she bounced back with amazing unexpected opportunities.
LENELL: We know that you are fresh off the American Idol tour; does it still feel like a dream to you?
AMBER: Oh my gosh, it took me a while before I realized I was on the show. As far as the tour goes, I now think it still feels like a dream. I still get a lot of attention from it and I still have a lot of fans that talk about it.
LENELL: What an amazing accomplishment to come in fourth place out of thousands of participants? Are you getting a lot of opportunities that are being presented to you right now?
AMBER: Thank you. Yes, most definitely there are a lot of people that know me and a lot of people that want to work with me. I was able to get a lot of exposure and it was nice.'
LENELL: For those that don’t know you, what was life like prior to American Idol? What did you do before?
AMBER: Well, before Idol I had just got my first job at a daycare center. Yeah (laughing) I was changing diapers for about 6 or 7 months.
LENELL: So how did you eventually audition for the show?
AMBER: Well, I auditioned twice. The first year I came in the top 60. The second time around I came with a whole different approach. I changed my look up and kind of came into my own. The first time I did it I was kind of under age and I had my Dad there with me so I held back. The second time I was by myself so I did it my way.
LENELL: Oh, I get it; now that you are by yourself you are the one in control. Ok, Mrs. Janet.
AMBER: Exactly (laughing)
LENELL: Now speaking of family does your family or friends treat you differently now? Some people may say things like, “Oh she’s on American Idol now; she thinks she’s this or that.” Is there a sense of envy from your recent accomplishments?
AMBER: No, my family doesn’t treat me any different. The only difference is now every time we go somewhere my mom has to pull out all my videos and songs on iTunes. I’m like, it’s embarrassing for me, but she’s just proud.
LENELL: Aww, she’s proud of her baby. How did you first discover that you had the ability to sing? Did you come from a family of musicians?
AMBER: Actually on my mom’s side my aunts and uncles are all musically inclined. Like my uncle can play the guitar with both of his hands. My mom says that she used to sing like Minnie Ripperton. Also, my sister can sing; she’s in the army, but I kind of learned from her. At the same time I kind of wanted to do what she was doing because she was my older sister.
LENELL: Let’s talk about some of the song choices that you performed on the show, like, I Believe In You And Me by Whitney and Lately, by Stevie Wonder. Are those some of the people you grew up listening to and who are some of your influences that kind of inspired you to develop your craft?
AMBER: Well, I definitely had Whitney Houston on repeat all day every day. I kind of mimicked her. I would try to sing like her. Also, I listened to a lot of Motown and old school. That really influenced me a lot because that’s what my mom listened to. Even to this day I listen to a lot of older music.
LENELL: Being that we are fresh off the BET awards is there someone among your peer group that you find to be inspirational?
AMBER: I am really in love with Pharrell. I love how his music is so upbeat and it makes you happy. It’s great that you can hear his music on any radio station. I vibe with him; I like him a lot.
LENELL: Are you looking to be that kind of artist like Pharrell that crosses all genres of music?
AMBER: Most definitely, I want to be played on every radio station. I want to make music that’s going to make people feel good about themselves. You know relatable music.
LENELL: Have you met any previous Idol contestants or winners that may have given you any sound advice?
AMBER: Yes, actually on the show a lot of them came through. We met Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia was there and even Carrie Underwood. Their main piece of advice was to try your best every week, but at the same time don’t let whatever happens affect you. It’s about the competition of course, but even more than that it’s about what you do after. So that really stuck with me the most.
LENELL: Do you look at someone like Jennifer Hudson as the ultimate role model? Her situation was similar, she didn’t win, but in actuality she is winning now?
AMBER: Most Definitely. I mention her a lot; she didn’t win. I think she came in 7th place. Now she’s doing really, really well and it didn’t happen instantly. It happened after she auditioned for Dream Girls. That really inspires me to know that you can’t give up even if it takes a year or two or three. You have to work hard for it. It’s going to come.
LENELL: Yes Ma’am, your time is coming. Now, we were recently told that you just gave birth. Congratulations!!
AMBER: Yes I did. I had a little girl and she will be 5 months on the 13th of July. She is the smartest baby and people say that she looks like me, but I think she looks like her grandmother. She definitely has a lot of older traits. She is an old soul; kind of like me.
LENELL: Is it difficult being a new mom and balancing a career as a new recording artist or do you have a great support system?
AMBER: I have a great support system. Her dad is here along with my mom. Everybody helps. I mean sometimes it does interfere when I’m trying to write and she is awake. It seems like she wants to sing really loud or yell. It is an experience, but it is not as bad as it seems.
LENELL: You sound like you are in great spirits and ready to take on this new challenge. Is there any advice that you would like to give to another aspiring singer who may be looking at competing on American Idol or the Voice as a route to kick start their career?
AMBER: You can’t give up or let what happens discourage you because you are going to get a lot of no’s. Not everyone is going to like you. You can’t let that affect you.
LENELL: Well said. What do you have coming up in the immediate future?
AMBER: There is some music coming out really soon, a couple of movies and hopefully a TV show. American Idol has opened a lot of doors and I am definitely taking every opportunity.
We wish Amber much success and will keep abreast of her future projects. You can keep in touch with her on Twitter and Instagram http://www.twitter.com/AMBERnholcomb