Gold Hand Girls
alexa ace + coco Lashar
Tell us about yourselves! What is Gold Hand Girls all about?
Alexa: Hiya, I'm Alexa. I'm a 22 y/o music business entrepreneur and Hot Cheeto enthusiast. Music is my every day. I was raised in a house full of rock and roll, so I guess you could blame my mom for ending up here. I've been studying music business for just about three years now, and have interned for numerous record labels across London!
Coco: I'm Coco, a 21 year old girl pursuing Audio Engineering & Production through internship experience and Graphic Design through university. I'm incredibly passionate about music, making it, the people who make it, etc., and in my research and experience I've found there's a lack of encouragement and empowerment for women who want to be behind the scenes in music - business, production, etc.. That's why I love Gold Hand.
Gold Hand Girls is about bringing women in the music business together. We're inspired by the lack of, and what could be.
What's your mission?
Gold Hand Girls work with women across America to host shows in their own town in hopes of the woman gaining confidence in her career path! ..Also, as of recently we're an empowerment blog!
Who are some of your favorite emerging female artists/bands?
Alexa: I'm suuuuuper inspired by Black Honey right now. Other than that I love Kate Nash, Mitski, Estrons, and Deap Valley! All kick ass women. You should check them out (and throw back some more recommendations!)
Coco: I'm really into Priests right now (a punk, female-led band), Mitski, Grimes (who is also an incredible producer/engineer), Niki & The Dove and Chastity Belt. This definitely doesn't fit into "emerging" category, but I've been SO into Kate Bush recently. Her discography is worth diving into.
What is it like to be female entrepreneurs in the music industry?
Alexa: It's a fresh start, ya know? I think everyone in this social generation is slowly adapting to the thought of publicly finding themselves, and I'm right there with them. Throughout my experience(s) interning for different music companies, I've been out populated by men. Which is cool, I've never had a bad experience...however, being intertwined with like minded females allows for a sense of empowerment and comfort. Especially given our expected gender social standards. I'd say more than anything being a female in the music business is liberating. It's a sense of freedom- a chance to lay new ground work without limitations.
Coco: It's pretty awesome. I wouldn't feel as excited about it if I was doing it alone, but through Gold Hand and through various music-centered experiences in my life I've been able to build a community of women who all feel the same way and have the same passions.There's definitely an unbalanced male/female ratio in the music industry, especially in business & production/engineering, but because there's girls following along with our journey and other women pursuing the same things, I feel consistently empowered to keep going. Stealing the word Alexa used - it's liberating.
What trials and challenges have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Coco: Most of my challenges have been mental- feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and other self-desctructive tendencies that put me in a rut. Many of these feelings are the outcome pursuing a male-dominated industry, and buying in to the (HUGE, INSANE) lie that women naturally aren't as good at business or technology. Having a community of like minded females to surround and encourage me, and having groundbreaking women in music to look up to keeps me inspired and committed.
What helps to inspire a creative mindset?
Alexa: Anytime I feel the desire to let out my inner creative I take a look at my favorite magazine, I-D. I-D is a London based music and fashion magazine. It's so raw and honest. Other than that I hang out with my five year old sister. She is also raw, and brutally honest. Her freedom and beauty drive me to endless possibilities. At such a young age you know nothing but happiness. Children are pure magic.
Coco: Listening to interviews or reading biographies about people who inspire me. Also, taking walks. I'm currently in New York City and if I ever feel I'm in a creative rut, I'll just walk around. The people I see always tend to spark creativity.
What other females in the industry do you look up to?
Alexa: Abbey Raymonde!! I'd consider her a mentor, and she's also done so much for the music industry. I had a chance to intern for her at Bella Union in Brighton, England last year and am still taken away by her knowledge.
Coco: Grimes, because she has totally helped break the standard that women sing and men engineer. She does it all on her own, and is damn good at it. Also - Laura Sisk, who is a Grammy nominated sound engineer, her credits ranging from Lorde to tUnE-yArDs to Wavves. Pretty much any woman who gets asked "who's girlfriend are you?" when working in a studio.
What's your go-to pump-up album or playlist?
Alexa: I love this question solely because I haven't got a fucking clue. Haha! If I'm looking to get pumped up, as the kids say, I typically turn on "Black Out Days" by Phantogram, or The Yeah Yeah Yeah's x
Coco: I have a playlist on spotify called "dancing with myself" that I listen to when I want to run down the street and twirl (it's got Bowie, Blondie, TV on the Radio). Album wise - Lorde's new album is SLAYING me, and Rumors by Fleetwood Mac is my "never gets old" album.
What's your best advice for other females wanting to pursue a career in music?
Alexa: I'll say this till the day I die ... send the damn email. follow up. send another email... and another. Consistency is a skill. Learn it.
Coco: Don't quit if you feel isolated. Keep going, find other women to lean on, always remind yourself that YOU can be the one who inspires someone else.
Who are your favorite artists/bands of all time?
Alexa: Of all time! Goodness. This is always the hardest. My top 5 are The Beatles, David Bowie, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, and Regina Spektor.
Coco: My all time list is an ebb & flow type of situation, BUT right now it's Mitski, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, David Bowie, and Joy Division.