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From Indie Artist to Label Boss

How one independent musician built a name from local scene to label boss on the global stage using Motion Graphics, Digital Marketing & Spotify Strategy.

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Hawaiian born AKUA had a deep content library, nearly two albums ready to go, 15 music videos with a unique vibe, and a highly engaged local following, but was struggling to find traction beyond his local zip code. 

Having a legacy amongst the Drum & Bass subculture, and as a former member of Brass Knuckle Entertainment, he had focused on making the music and developing video content to showcase it. 

Using YouTube as his primary vehicle to promote his music had proven moderately effective, but wasn't quite achieving the results he was seeking for reach and awareness. He knew he had the product, but needed some help building a revenue generating machine.

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AKUA's music is gritty and rugged, heavily influenced by hip hop, drum & bass, and street culture.  


As one of the top MCs in Denver, CO throughout the early 2000's his sound has evolved and been shaped by competition, machismo, and commanding the attention of large crowds. 



When AKUA approached The Clear Media we were very excited for the opportunity to apply our skills to such a talented artist! Beginning with a discovery session and content audit, we determined there were a few key areas for improvement: Merchandise & Sales Funnel Development, and Fanbase Growth.

AKUA put a considerable amount of work into ensuring the music was represented artistically in the music videos, but had only selected frames from the video for the YouTube thumbnails. Understanding that first impressions matter, we created scroll-stopping graphics that would be eye catching on the Discover Page and create an aesthetically pleasing grid when viewers landed on his channel.

Once the thumbnails were updated, the metadata was scrubbed so that the new images became shareable. We advised him on new formatting for the video descriptions that would help create a circular ecosystem to better engage his fans, leaving breadcrumbs to his other social accounts, Spotify, and website. Finally we optimized the titles, keywords, and channel intro to get better algorithmic boost. 

Next we focused on merchandise that would resonate with his audience. It was clear that the existing fans resonated heavily with the Icon logo mark, so we agreed that the clothing should be presented as a streetwear brand rather than traditional "tour merch." 

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Within 4 months, his YouTube views soared to nearly 200,000 views, his subscriber base increased roughly 60%, and his comment per video sky rocketed from 2-5 to 50-80 per video.


$3500 in merchandise sales in a weekend with strong data on which merchandise will sell going forward online and on tour. 


327% email subscriber growth, and clear data insights informing where to book his next tour based on campaign interactions, and streaming numbers from YouTube and Spotify.


As musicians, we understand the struggle to grow your audience, build a fanbase, and monetize your work. Here's what we did to help Akua position himself for all three.

  • Digital Marketing

  • Social Media Content Design

  • Merchandise Design

  • Music Video Production

  • Website Design

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The proof is in the plays. Snake Bones Spotify following has shows steady follower growth, increasing streams, 


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