Elon alumna Ciara Graves '20 achieves 'gold record' status – Today at Elon

By Olivia Grady, student
September 22, 2022
As marketing manager for the Thrive Music label, Graves worked to help make the ACRAZE track “Do It To It” a worldwide hit.
As marketing manager for Thrive Music record label in Los Angeles, California, Ciara Graves ‘20 has become one of the few Elon University alumni to receive a gold record for her work on the popular ACRAZE track “Do It To It”.
“It was honestly super surreal. I’m a producer and DJ myself so being involved in a project like this was a whirlwind and I would’ve never expected this to happen at all, this soon especially,” Graves explained.
Graves joined Thrive Music in July 2021, and right away she was helping with plans to release the single. She works as the team’s marketing manager and the lead of social media audience development. Her tasks are geared toward the marketing aspect of the music industry, as she works with artists to help promote them, their singles, and the label itself.
For “Do It To It,” Graves worked with the artist ACRAZE to help amplify his social media appearance for the song’s release, specifically with a TikTok dance campaign. The dance became a major trend, with over 3 million videos tapping into the track.
At Elon, Graves was a music production and recording arts major. Her knowledge about the creative aspect of the industry has assisted her when playing on the opposite side of the fence with marketing and promotion.
“Shoutout to Clay Stevenson and Fred Johnson, they were really mentors for me,” Graves said. “I didn’t even really have any marketing background until I just was thrown into it, but I would’ve never found that out if I didn’t have professors to lead me in the right direction to try new things.”
Clay Stevenson, senior lecturer in music at Elon, teaches courses in music production and performing arts, as well as the business of music. When asked about the new success Graves has seen, he says he is not surprised.
“Ciara has all the characteristics it takes to be successful. She’s very relatable, a super hard worker, has a great ear, and is a quick learner,” Stevenson said. “She has kind of that X factor. I’d love to take credit, but sometimes students like that go through and we help them along, but we know they’re going to be successful.”
Among the courses Graves took was Music Business, where students analyze trends in the music industry, learn about different avenues to publish their work and talk about ways to promote music. Additionally, students learn how to read and analyze contracts and how to conduct themselves in a professional environment, so they know what’s going to happen next. Skills like these have surely assisted Graves as she’s become immersed in the music business.
“She had to go through the whole process where she was involved in the marketing and advertising of the gold record. She had that experience on kind of the microscopic level at Elon,” Stevenson said.
Overall, courses in both the creative and business aspects of the industry helped Graves reach gold record status and become a successful member of the Thrive Music record label in Los Angeles. You can listen to “Do It To It” on iTunes or Spotify.
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