Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired the music catalogue of four time Grammy winner Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, who will also be joining the investment adviser’s advisory board with immediate effect. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Rodney Jerkins’ Writer’s Share of Income in his early works and 100% of his Publishing interest and Writer’s Share of Income in his later works, which in total comprise 982 songs.
Jerkins — a producer, rapper and songwriter — rose to prominence in 1997 having co-written, arranged and produced five songs for Mary J. Blige’s triple-platinum album “Share My World,” including the single “I Can Love You.” The following year he co-wrote and produced the majority of Brandy’s “Never Say Never,” album which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide, including the Grammy-winning smash single “The Boy Is Mine.” In the following years he co-wrote and produced three songs for Whitney Houston’s album “My Love Is Your Love”; co-wrote and produced Destiny’s Child chart-topping “Say My Name,” and two songs on the group’s final album “Destiny Fulfilled.” He continued to collaborate with Beyonce as a solo artist, as well as the Spice Girls, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga (the Beyonce collaboration “Telephone”), Jennifer Lopez, Justin Beiber, Toni Braxton and more.
Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and The Family (Music) Limited, said: “If you are talking songs of cultural importance you only need to say ‘Darkchild’ and everyone in the world knows you are talking about the very best of the very best. Rodney has created magic every step of the way in his magical career and we owe him a debt of gratitude for making the airwaves such a wonderful place over the last 25 years. I am delighted to welcome him to the Hipgnosis Family and our Advisory Board. Nile Rodgers, The-Dream, Dave Stewart, Giorgio Tuinfort, Starrah and I all look forward to his contributions.”
Jerkins said: “My relationship with Hipgnosis represents a relationship of mutual trust: Hipgnosis has placed its trust in me as an advisor, and I have entrusted Hipgnosis to manage a catalog that I have nurtured for 25+ years. I have no doubt that Merck and Hipgnosis are the right home for my catalog because they have demonstrated that they appreciate the art and craft that underlie the copyright and have constantly supported music creators. I’m thankful for the music that God has enabled me to develop these past 25 years, and I’m excited, inspired, and motivated for what the future holds in the next phase of my career.”
Hipgnosis Songs recently released its annual report, which showed its revenues soaring in its first full year of business, climbing to $81 million in the 12 month period ended in March 2020 from around $8.9 million in the preceding period. The firm, which has been on an unprecedented acquisition binge of hit songwriter and producer catalogs — been buying up catalogs by hitmakers ranging from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker — began trading on the London Stock Exchange in July of 2018. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.
In the report, cofounder and CEO Merck Mercuriades notes, “When compared with the three major song companies, we have achieved between 7% and 12.5% of their revenue on between 0.5% and 0.9% of their number of songs.” This is a result of the group’s highly selective investments, which he summarizes in the report thus: “All of our songs have a proven track record and we do not speculate on new songs regardless of the past performance of the songwriter, producer or artist. These proven hit Songs produce reliable, predictable and uncorrelated cash flows which are highly investible.”