Jersey City based musician, HANZ, was getting ready to launch a campaign for his upcoming album, Vagabond. He needed a website to host his discography, exclusive merch and collect data for unique visitors.

The Design Approach

Hanz' content for the initial release is his discography, videos, merch, and gallery of photos for his lookbook. Just a simple one pager, minimal, and consistent with his press release kit. The most important element to him was that the background was beige and matched the background color of the product shots in the store. I find that lighter backgrounds demand for the white space to be filled as much as possible. The container width was fluid and allowed the freedom for what content was displayed per section.

Early mockup of the site


Final wireframe


The final decision made here was to keep the theme consistent with his press release kit sent to publications. A color scheme that will accompany future content release without being a specific theme. This approach will last for the long haul.

The Build Approach

Hanz and his label needed a CMS to post future content on their own after launch. They also needed something lightweight and low cost to maintain. I tend to find artists pay for sites that do more than what they need. Squarespace, Wordpress, Cargocollective, and so many other site builders felt so bulky in production for a site like this that only required a few components to be launched. I also see a trend where musicians buy a domain and link to their Bandcamp pages which is very smart and no need to pay for engineers and designers to make their sites.

So I figured why not try Gatsby, Contentful and Netlify. Create custom content models and sync the webhooks from Shopify and Contentful to automatically update the site whenever Hanz and his management team publishess new content. SEO optimization and high performance is an afterthought because Gatsby handles those out of the box.

View the site here