Alicia West (also known as Ace) is a content creator and host involved in commercial media based in Toronto, Canada. This dynamic 26-year-old has been establishing a unique network broadcasting and producing for other brands while building her own digital platform.
Ace is currently co-hosting a podcast station and reporting as a music correspondent for local station Vibe 105. She’s also curating her personal lifestyle blog as well as social media for different companies. Refined in style behind the camera and on the radio, she’s interviewed many prominent artists including Omarion, Bryson Tiller, The Game, Sean Paul and Ne-Yo.
Viewers can find her video interviews on her channel and at wpgc.com. She reports weekly for Vibe 105 usually from Monday to Thursday, and does live broadcasting on the weekends at different events. Keep up with this thriving media director through her digital site here.
What inspired you to begin your profession and when did you officially start?
I was in high school doing an assignment for one of my family studies classes and the teacher asked us to research careers and make a five to 10 year plan. For some obscure reason I decided I wanted to be a host and work in broadcasting (I like to think that it was because of Angie Martinez role in the movie Brown Sugar). The problem was, I was an introvert and couldn’t even present in front of a class without making myself sick. So I went to school for Marketing, putting my aspirations to the side. A few years after graduating college and still not completely sure about my path, I decided to enroll in the Radio Broadcasting Post-Graduate program. I figured the worst case scenario would be that it helps with my confidence (Which it did! I’m a proud self-taught extrovert). I then graduated and moved to Washington, DC for an internship at WPGC. Being there really introduced me to a different side of social media. I use to create content for their digital platforms, something I never did for a corporate company.
Now I use that experience to run different companies’ social media programs on a freelance basis while I create content for my blog, YouTube, and Vibe 105.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far and why?
Every year my biggest highlights changes as I’m constantly trying to outdo myself. For 2016 some of my most memorable moments is when I got to interview Bryson Tiller for VIBE 105. What I didn’t know was I had the only Canadian interview on mainstream media, which is kind of dope. I also got the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan at All-Star Weekend here in Toronto. I was working for Brand Jordan that weekend and had the opportunity to walk him around ‘306 Underground’ and explain the activation to him. It ended up going on the Jumpman23 Twitter, SnapChat and a few TV stations picked up the story. Apparently he doesn’t attend many events so seeing him there was a rarity. Being that I’m a former athlete and avid basketball fan, it was kind of a big deal. I also launched my new blog www.justaceit.co back in December. It’s gotten a lot of traction and has allowed me to work with different companies as an ambassador. I just signed a contract to work with Samsung and create content for the launch of the Galaxy S7!
How has your life changed since you began your journey and what are you expecting next?
The journey hasn’t been an easy one and I feel like I’ve had more downs then ups from being told that I won’t make it in radio, being fired from my full-time job, and hearing no after no from program directors around the country. Since the New Year has started I’ve been on a high and have had some great opportunities that are making this whirlwind of a journey worth it. I think this year is going to be the year I really make an impact and knock off some of my career goals I’ve been chasing. It’s really shown me how perseverance and timing is everything.
What characteristics do you believe are important to have in order to be successful and why?
Perseverance, patience, positivity. Those three P’s are things I’ve struggled with. I’m not the most patient person and can be negative towards myself sometimes. Once I started to focus on being perserverant, patient and positive, I realized the things I wanted to happen started to happen. When something didn’t go as planned I started looking for other ways to reach that goal and working harder on it. I also started realizing I can only control so much and it will happen when it was meant to be, not when I wanted it to. I just started putting out as much positivity as possible and always looking on the bright side. Without those three P’s I wouldn’t be where I am.
For the young generation inspired by your achievements, what advice could you offer to those pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
It won’t be an easy walk down the road. You’ll be told no, a lot, but don’t give up. When you get knocked down, pick yourself up and keep on pushing because hard work hardly goes unnoticed.
Another piece of advice is to grow your online brand. Having worked in marketing for large global brands running their social media, I’ve seen the benefits of having a strong digital footprint. It doesn’t need to be huge but a well curated and engaged following could help your career. Plus you never know who you’ll connect with. I’ve met a lot of amazing people through social media that have helped elevate my career!
What prominent individuals in entertainment would you compare yourself to and why?
That’s really hard to answer because I’m kind of a hybrid of things. I have my radio stuff and then my digital stuff that is heavily reliant on my marketing background. If I had to choose I could compare myself to Nessa from Hot 97. She started doing YouTube interviews like myself which helped land her bigger hosting gigs (Girl Code, Hot 97, etc). I would also mix in Yes Julz because she is all about her digital stuff. She really understands marketing and how to use your online audience. Not to mention she’s about to launch a show on DASH Radio. I admire the hustle on both of those females so either comparison would be a compliment!
How did you feel you contribute to the innovation of art, and what message are you trying to perceive from your influence?
The digital world is the definition of innovation, it’s always evolving and I try to use it in different ways to document my experiences. Everything I do goes online, whether it’s on SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or my blog: I am “aceonline”. I feel like a lot of people only share the good. I want to be able to share the good and the bad to show that life gets rough but through hard work the good will come. If people could perceive one thing from me, it’s just to work hard and enjoy what life has to offer!