alexa ace and
the gold hand girls
by kiana moridi
When Alexa Ace interned at record labels in London, she quickly realized the lack of women behind the scenes was an issue that needed to be addressed. Taking matters into her own hands, Alexa decided it was time to start her own business. First starting out as a small record label, Gold Hand Records transitioned into what’s now Gold Hand Girls—a podcast featuring female musicians and artists changing the dialogue of a frequently underrepresented industry. Paving the way for women in the music scene, Alexa is changing the narrative one conversation at a time. Now the business owner wears many hats-- she’s a published music photographer, cannabis advocate, podcast host, an outspoken women’s rights activist. An entrepreneurial superwoman, to put it lightly.
Here, we chat with the podcast host about creating Gold Hand Girls, her unending love for music, and encouraging words for women in the music industry.
FLARE: When did you start Gold Hand Girls? What’s the story behind the name?
ALEXA: I started Gold Hand Girls in 2016, after interning in London and quickly realizing the lack of women behind scenes! The name Gold Hand Girls is a mixture of a few things. It actually first started as a small record label called Gold Hand Records, where we hosted underground house shows. It was nuts. Innately, I’m a women’s rights activist, so I knew I could represent my heart with better relevancy. A label didn’t feel right at the moment. I wanted to make an impact right then and there. So, Gold Hand became Gold Hand Girls, and we grew immediately. It was like Gold Hand was always meant to be for women, it just needed that pivot of specificity. Name wise, I was highly inspired by Metric’s “Gold, Guns, Girls.” But I’ve never actually admitted that in writing until now.
FLARE: What’s Gold Hand Girls all about? (mission, what you want people to feel when they listen to the podcast, etc.)
ALEXA: Gold Hand Girls is about providing opportunity for women in music. I truly believe that inspiration can change the world. If we can share stories of those who have paved the way, maybe we can show someone that their passion is possible, too. Women ARE minorities. Let’s not forget that. Equal pay still doesn’t exist in America. I want to provide a platform that makes women in music say “That exists?! I can do that?!” Yeah, you can girl. You can be on tour, and not be on stage. You can have platinum records, and not be an artist. You can be an artist and have a completely different story from anything you’ve ever heard but still make it. Eventually, I would love to properly provide jobs for women in music!
FLARE: How did the idea of creating a podcast begin?
ALEXA: Truthfully, the podcast Women and Music came into fruition by pondering how to monetize our passions. As an avid podcast listener, commercials and sponsorships seem to flood the podcasting industry. Though we found this isn’t entirely accurate, sponsorship spots did quickly present themselves as soon as we began. We have yet to find the perfect match but are grateful to have almost instantly proven our hypothesis wrong. If you’re reading this, your passions can become a reality. Just start.
FLARE: When did your love for music begin?
ALEXA: Sometimes I say it began in my Mimi’s office; I was four or five and she was on her second book. To keep me entertained while my mom was at work, I had a Leappad which taught me Vivaldi. After, it was Beethoven. Classical music will always be my home, but other times I say it began with KISS & Aerosmith. Fast forward to being eight years old and standing on an amphitheater chair only to see Gene Simmons fly through the air with (fake) blood dripping from his mouth. It was the best thing ever.
FLARE: What’s your work background in music? Are you a musician yourself?
ALEXA: I interned a lot around the world for different music business endeavors. This was my first taste into things such as music photography, A&R, and festival work. More so, my first taste into management, creative direction, and the inside look at multiple record labels. So, no, I’m not a musician! Although I do have an overwhelming urge to pursue piano.
FLARE:What do you hope to see for women in the Oklahoma music scene?
ALEXA: Man, let me first say, I think women in the Oklahoma music scene are doing absolutely fantastic. You know, it would be cool to see more college tastemakers here though, discovering especially Oklahoma women. Sony has one at The Academy of Contemporary Music (OKC) but I’m not aware of others.
FLARE: Any female artists on the rise we should know about?
ALEXA: So many! Angie McMahon, Ashe, Eryn Martin, Fontains DC to name a few
FLARE: How can the music industry provide more female inclusion?
ALEXA: By the removal of legacy positions, and by hearing women out who are already working too hard in positions they should be promoted in. Women deserve to be promoted, often. Women also deserve to be invested in. Period.
FLARE: When you’re looking for some inspiration or creativity, what song or musician do you listen to?
ALEXA: Super into Mura Masa right now. His remixes send me to another level, and to be fair I’m a massive cannabis advocate. So, light it up, and turn on some Mura Masa. Maybe even some Radiohead. Actually, Radiohead. Always.
FLARE: What does music mean to you?
ALEXA: I think music is my reason for being on this earth. I am so purely, blissfully, captivated by sounds. Orchestral melodies remind me of the unity of community. Electric guitar reminds me of being at my first KISS show. I’m head over heels in love with music and can’t believe how stunning it is that humans dedicate their entire lives to sounds, and those who connect to them. It’s an entire energy within itself.
FLARE: If you could interview any musician in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
ALEXA: WHEW! Probably David Bowie. I have his face tattooed on my right forearm. But you know what’s weird? I hardly ever listen to his music. Again, it’s an energy thing. I often feel misunderstood, and I know he did, too. But he embraced it in a way that he could reinvent and reinvent and reinvent and still be wholly himself. He literally tried on different versions of himself in front of the world, while also writing beautiful british tunes. He was one of a kind, and unapologetic. I’m magnetized and stunned and at peace with him all at once.
FLARE: With COVID changing live music this year, how do you see the future of music?
ALEXA: Rock ‘n Roll never dies.
FLARE: If you could give advice to an aspiring woman in the music industry, what would it be?
ALEXA: The music industry is magical. Go at it full force. Work eighteen-hour days. Work for free if it provides experience. Hustle, but not because men are your competition. Hustle for the fans. Hustle for the feeling of the bass during the opening song of the concert you’ve anticipated all year. Hustle because if we start now, we can show the next generation just how possible it is to be a woman in music.