Monique Grimme innovative leadership and creativity has brought the attention of some major music industry
leaders. The business is gaining momentum as she moves the company and the artists up the music
ladder and charts.
Lmh Mag was able to catch up with this busy lady for a interview.
Deciding to start your own business, easy or not so easy decision to make?
Making the decision to start my own business was the easy part. Staying focused on the goals and mission are the hardest. You must be driven by your passion for the business, keeping a positive energy in your step in order to motivate others to join you so you can build a valuable team and company.
Developing a business that is predominantly run by men where did you find the courage?
That is a great question! We create products out of passion and emotions run high, I think the industry is predominantly ran by men is because they are better at controlling their emotions. The music industry is a tough business for anyone, lucky for me I was born after the 60’s movement where my fellow “sisters” like NY Rocker/Producer Genya Ravan fought to clear a path for women in the music business today.
Q: Did you have a music background or did you learn as you go?
Yes, you can say I come from a musical family! My Great Grandfather, Nico Pavias, was a talented musician from Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he played and wrote songs with the French Accordion back in the 30’s & 40’s. He then passed his talents onto his son Nico, Jr., and two of his three great-daughters, Coby Reuyl and Johanna VanderHeyden, who happens to be my mother!
My family had a passion for music and I inherited this passion, while developing a strong sense for the business. During my music career here in the US, I’ve met many talented musicians and excellent business people that have inspired me to make every day a better day as I keep learning from them in order to achieve my goals.
Q: From Netherlands to the states. What influenced the big leap?
Immigrating to the land of opportunity was a dream of mine that came true when my parents were offered to transfer for work. Now one thing to remember, in the Netherlands, the television shows we watched and influenced by were shows like Dallas and Dynasty. Imagine my surprise when I found out American families don’t all own an oil company! I found it to be far from the truth and so television was what gave me the idea that you can reach a massive amount of people with your product.
Having started Bongo Boy Records, I wanted to have another way to showcase artists to a larger audience and television was it. The Bongo Boy Rock n’ Roll TV Show showcases all forms of the entertainment world; hosted by Wayne Olivieri who conducts one on one interviews with the feature artist to introducing new videos or short films from independent producers. We give the artist a place to shine and be a “RockStar” for a while, to talk about what makes them passionate about their work.
I feel television is a great way to share the raw feeling of the artist, up close and personal, while educating and entertaining the viewers. I can now say almost 30 years later, I came full circle, understanding how television can change a person’s perspective and yet entertaining us too.
Q: What was your biggest challenge getting your career off the ground?
My biggest challenges are working with financial budgets and making decisions wisely, regardless of the impact it may make on your personal feelings. Business can be cruel sometimes and many times you cannot take it personally.
Q: What do you look for when picking a new client?
When selecting a new client for Bongo Boy Records, I want to create a beneficial relationship for the client as well for the record company. We both need to grow off the interactions of each other.
We need to make sure we compliment each other and work together on common goals and objectives without a fuss. Of course talent plays a big factor on the decision in picking a new client, but the chemistry needs to be right too.
Q: What are some of the biggest obstacles you face being a woman in the music business?
That is a hard one to answer for me, as I never saw big obstacles, only challenges which forced me to work harder. Maybe one of the obstacles is being a woman with blonde hair... then again I did dyed my hair red once and still got the same effect!
Q: What is the meaning by the name Bongo Boy Records.
I can't take credit for the name of the company, as that comes from my business partner songwriter/musician/producer and A&R Director Gar Francis. He was blessed by his good friends with the nickname Bongo Boy at an early age.
Q: At what level of success would you like your company to be 5 years from now?
It is very hard to measure the level of success 5 years from now, as the music industry is such in a revolutionary stage. But I strongly agree with Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, as he once said, “Right now we're planting an oak tree. What we are planting today we may not see the full benefits for five to 10 years.”
It’s where Bongo Boy Records is at, we planted the seed with the record company and sprouting the foundation roots with Bongo Boy Rock n’ Roll TV Show. We have release new songs by Mark Lindsay the former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders, and GiGi, a new artist from the Jersey Shore and more coming later in the year.
Bongo Boy Rock n Roll Show is expanding not only in coverage but also featuring more National Artists along with up and coming artist in both art and music fields.
I feel that with this foundation we are setting up now, can only bring us much success in the future.
Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring women wanting to go into business?
My best advice would be:
1) Stay focused
2) Learn as much as you can each day
3) Surround yourself with people that are smarter then you
4) Build a network of people that have the same passion as you for your business
5) Be patient!
6) And last but not least “unfriend” negative people completely.
Just remember America is still the land opportunity, when you dream it you can create it.
We live in a great country and remember to Rock ‘n Roll each day, as there are plenty of good
tunes to get you through the day.
Producer Bongo Rock n' Roll Show www.bongoboyrecords.com/TVSHOW”
Music Manager of Gar Francis www.garfrancis.com