10 Minutes with the Founders of Gold Hand Girls
Hello ladies! Let’s start with some formal introductions! (Name, where are you from, fun facts/about me things)
Coco: I’m Coco, I’m from Norman, OK and am a student at the University of Arkansas, but currently I’m planted in Brooklyn for the summer. I’m interning for a recording studio called Electric Lady Studios in hopes of learning more about audio engineering and production! My major (as of right now) is graphic design but I’m hoping to focus more on music soon!
Alexa: Hiya, I’m Alexa! I’m also from Norman, Oklahoma and am a music business student at The Academy of Contemporary Music. Fun fact- my first concert was KISS and Aerosmith when I was eight years young. I take lots of pride in that given it was my first real life rock and roll experience. Ever since, I’ve been hella fortunate and have worked with numerous record labels in London such as Bella Union, Rough Trade, and Memphis Industries.
What is Gold Hand Girls?
Gold Hand Girls is an empowerment platform and collective focused on women in the music business. We started as more of a passion project, where we would help girls host Gold Hand shows in their local area, and while we definitely hope for more shows in the future, we've sort of switched directions to being blog focused for now!
Where and when did you come up with the idea for Gold Hand Girls? How did you get started?
Alexa: Gold Hand actually started as an impromptu house show. My family home at the time was empty, and I had a friend in from London who was a musician. She couldn’t legally play in America, so we decided on a discrete and invitation only Sofar Sounds type of show. Of course, I needed a name to promote it.. So being heavily inspired by Santigold that December, I came up with Gold Hand Records. It was 6 months later, that Gold Hand Girls was birthed. Courtney and I we’re just about to leave for music business internships and met for lunch before our departure. We weren’t very close at the time, in fact we hardly knew each other. Though, we bonded strongly over the lack of women within the music business. We left our meal that day co-owning an idea for a company together. Here we are now <3
A lot of your platform focuses on female empowerment (massive heart eyes for that), can you talk about why that is so important?
Coco: Alexa and I both are working in music (internships, etc.) and have found a massive need for community and encouragement towards females in the business. There are a lot of great platforms and collectives focused on female empowerment, and some great ones already in music, but we found a need for one focused on the ladies behind the scenes- those in production & business. We both know what's it's like to feel you have to work 2x harder or are immediately underestimated because you're the only girl in the room. It's our heart to find girls that feel this way as well, and say “hey! You're not alone- and here's a platform for YOUR voice.”
What is the heart behind the push for women to support other women?
Alexa: I admire this Q! I think our generation is on the borderline of both hugging diversity, and pushing it away. With social media, we now not only are able to consume our idols daily lives, but also envy those lives we wish to have. I think it’s somewhat of a disease that our social generation has been forced upon. However, I’d like to think that by the end of the day if you support your neighbor, whether they be gay, conservative, rich or poor etc, you are doing yourself a mental favor. You are accepting this diversity that we hold in the palm of our hands, and focusing on the sole fact that we are all human. On the flip, this diversity plays a strong role within a multitude of work environments for women. A woman is not only more quick to be judged than her male colleague, but also diversified by her age, weight, race, social status, style (it goes on). The heart of the push for women to support other women, in my opinion, is knowing in your heart that you are trying to be the best version of yourself, just as any other woman. Even if you don’t agree or understand what they stand for, they are objectified just as much as you. By accepting diversity, we are strengthening equality. Women are warriors, and together we are an army prepared to break any goddamn glass ceiling that comes our way! (heartfelt answer hehe)
What are some of your goals for GHG?
Alexa: Well, we’re absolutely taken back by the amount of women who are supporting us and want to be involved. I think our biggest goal right now is finding more positions for these talented women to be an official part of the Gold Hand Girls platform.
Coco: Expansion & growth. I think we have a really unique brand and passion and I want every girl who would want to be a part of it to find us!
What does success mean to you both in this journey?
Alexa: Success is often hard to define. I find myself feeling successful by fulfilling an immensely tiring day. You know, the “I’ve made it,” feeling. I don’t really know what success is to be fair, but by the end of the day if I can lay my head on my pillow with happiness and ambition to prosper, I will feel successful. I also want to be able to afford my own flat in London.. That counts too, right? x
Coco: In regards to Gold Hand (and life in general), success to me is having the feeling of immense pride for what you're doing, and helping people find their own success because of something you've done or created. I hope to have girls that felt they could pursue their dreams because of something we did or made them feel at Gold Hand.
Another big piece of your platform revolves around music. Why is music so important to you and who inspires this deep love?
Alexa: Goodness. Music is my life, haha! Like previously mentioned, I began attending concerts at a young age. My mother has always highly encouraged it, and taken me as her +1 to more events than I can count on two hands ten times. I’ve always reasoned with the quote “Music is the universal language of (wo)Mankind.” I have this breathtakingly profound connection to the feeling of sound, and when I’m an arena singing the same song with 20,000 strangers… I can’t help but feel entirely complete. Some of my inspirations are David Bowie, Andrew LLoyd Webber, Courtney Barnett, Beethoven, Lady Gaga, and Debbie Harry.
Coco: Music is the one of the only (and certainly the most impactful) worldly things that has made me appreciate other people's perspectives, delve into my own repressed interests and talents, and made me feel greater than myself. I can't explain the love and appreciation I have for music and for the history within the industry. Specifically with production / engineering, everything about the process - down to the incredibly technical bits and pieces - is beautiful and interesting to me. I can't get enough & it's definitely shaped my young, lonely teenage years and continues to mold me as I grow older.
Any advice for other women with creative dreams who may be afraid to take that big risk and share their ideas with others?
Alexa: There is no such thing as creative rejection. If you propose your art or creative ability and find yourself denied, its fine. All it means is that you are in the wrong room with the wrong people. Keep going until you find the right room, and the right people. They exist.
Coco: You are enough and you are capable. Work hard, be open and coachable, remain true to the feelings and ideals that brought you to the place of passion you reside in, and never assume that you won't be hired or that people won't love what you do.
THANK YOU XOXO