Fou Music
Service Design

Music Production


For many years, New Zealand music was predominantly delivered by white artists influenced by rock and pop genres. When Hip-Hop music entered the scene, only a handful of local talent were recognised. However, music execs started to take notice of the new influx of talent emerging onto the scene suggesting exploring new opportunities to exploit an untapped market audience.



EMI/Pagan Records (5 yrs), Fou Music (10 yrs)


Service Design: 15 years (2001 - 2016)

My Role

Service Designer/Songwriter


Conceptual Design: Songwriting, Artist Recruitment, Onboarding, Music Production, Distribution, Marketing, Engagement & Retention, UX/UI Principals

The UX Challenge

Record companies monopolise the industry for profitability capturing over 90% of consumers' money spent on recorded music. They are gatekeepers to the exclusivity of music that gets published and distributed. This was the challenge for new talent many years ago. To break into the industry for global reach aspiring musicians required a record deal to secure a powerhouse behind their music.

The UX Approach

To create a pathway with the understanding of the needs, expectations, and limitations of a fickle industry. Identify a market niche through the establishment of mainstream radio to provide an opportunity for new music. I was able to pitch a concept that implemented four Polynesian vocalists performing popular music and publication of soundtracks for film and TV. This created a new role for me to supervise the music production process from scripting through to preproduction (A&R) and post-production of each music single release.

Design Process

As the songwriter for our act, I sought to EMPATHISE the business needs and limitations based on a market niche ('Polynesian pop') by understanding the typical listener, DEFINE talented performers with recruitment and development, IDEATE the scope of work by scripting a collection of music that was screened for selection, IDEATE solutions with a series of demoed music tracks and select the most viable track for commercial release from a series of demos recorded, then DEMO for feedback, and develop for PRODUCTION & post-production ahead of LAUNCHing the final product through media channels.

The Final Product

Our music was showcased and published for radio, television, movie soundtracks, DJ remixes, and through live performances at festivals, corporate gigs, television appearances, and radio interviews. It was the strength of our music that allowed us to perform in public for over ten years.


The UX Impact

We had launched three media campaigns for our first music single release that subsequently, led to more releases.

A music video (directed by some of our LOTR film crew) showcased a new Polynesian-Pop act wearing grass skirts became a National hit with TV viewers on high rotation for TV and Radio that subsequently, became the most played music video, earning a nomination on the Juice TV awards in 2002.

The campaign extended after it became a soundtrack on TV shows: ‘Shortland Street’ (TV2) and a 'Guide to Happiness’ (TV1) prolonging its life cycle extensively locally and internationally.

To follow through on the success of our first release, a second single was launched. Today, our singles continue to play on-air worldwide. Because our act was signed as a singles act, we had produced five music singles and three music videos, including two top ten singles on the NZ music charts, voted best music video on Mai Show on TV2, a nominee for the best pop music video on Juice TV Awards, having featured soundtracks on two TV shows as well as a featured soundtrack on the internationally acclaimed Movie ‘NO.2’ in addition to our music catalog remixed by DJs around the world.

Aim for the moon shoot for the stars