Singapore’s Music Fund blackx Launches Operations in Japan, Hires New Exec

Asia’s music industry is seeing exponential growth and one new music company is taking the opportunity to expands its presence in Japan, Greater China and Singapore with senior industry hires.

blackx to invest in Tanya Chua music catolog 800450. Music Press Asia

[blackx inked another multi-year exclusive global music rights publishing partnership with Asian music icon Tanya Chua, to manage her entire repertoire of musical IP rights.]

In May 2023, blackx announced its acquisition of a catalog comprising publishing rights to over 230 songs by renowned songwriter Frances Wang.

As one of the first in Asia to offer qualified investors access to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights, blackx is in a unique position to capture opportunities as the region’s music industry continues to burgeon and flourish.

And just last month – as part of its creator-first approach to acquiring, creating and distributing IP and amplifying content – the music fund from Singapore also inked another multi-year exclusive global music rights publishing partnership with Asian music icon Tanya Chua, to manage her entire repertoire of musical IP rights.

So what are they trying to do with these music catalogs? blackx, according to its official website, aims to offer investors an attractive and growing level of income, together with the potential for capital growth.

With its focus on acquisitions of catalogs, partnerships with top-tier artists, as well as the incubation and grooming of emerging talent, blackx is working to enable creators to continue generating more valuable and compelling musical content.

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So why has blackx made such prominent moves recently?

According to IFPI’s latest 2023 Global Music Report, Asia’s 15.4% growth in the recorded music industry in 2022 outpaced global growth by 9%. China placed fifth on the list for top 10 global recorded music revenues in 2022 with a huge jump of 28.4%. Japan, in second place with a second year of consecutive growth of 5.4%, is potentially on the verge of an explosive growth cycle when streaming comes onboard.

“Asia’s music industry is slated to grow exponentially, and ultimately, our Asian operations are strategic nodes which will dovetail with our strategy of ensuring we continue to provide opportunities for both artists and investors to benefit from each other’s successes,” said Mr Tan Chee Meng, CEO of blackx.

According to blackx, the team will support these artists in nurturing the value of their IP through the pursuit of creative and commercialisation efforts, such as artist and repertoire management, publishing, marketing and promotion.

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Japanese artist managers appointed as blackx’s Head of Japan

The appointment of Hiroki Shirasuka as Head of Japan marks blackx’s official launch in the vast Japanese music market.

Recognised as a respected artist managers in the music industry, Shirasuka has extensive expertise spanning 15 years in Japan as well as the UK as cofounder of Giant Artist Management, ESEA Music and EarthPercent.

Mr Shirasuka said, “We’re thrilled to be launching blackx in Japan – a country renowned for its incredible musical history and heritage – at this exciting juncture. Fostering enduring relationships as a trusted, long-term partner for exceptional Japanese artists, songwriters and rights-holders, both from the past and those shaping the future, is key to us.

blackx launch in Japan hires key execs. Music Press Asia
[blackx launch in Japan hires key execs. L-R: Hiroki Shirasuka, Catherine Chow, Chiou Chiou and Hudson Wong. Music Press Asia]

The veteran music executive has worked with some of Japan’s biggest artists such as Fujii Kaze and Daiki Tsuneta. Hiroki has been actively connecting Asian artists and the world and strives to improve Asian representation in the global music industry.

As part of his role, he will also look to further extend blackx’s presence to other international markets such as UK and US.

“We want to respectfully honour, celebrate and uplift their legacies and culture, to create thriving, collaborative partnerships, and further elevate Japanese artistry with audiences worldwide. We look forward to generating added value and IP opportunities for artists, songwriters and rights-holders alike,” added Shirasuka.

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New appointments to steer the music industry’s continuing growth in Asia

In a recent announcement, blackx announced a series of senior hires across various growth markets – significantly strengthening its bench strength in Asia.

In Greater China, Catherine Chow and Chiou Chiou have respectively joined blackx as Chief Financial Officer and General Manager, Acquisition & Commercial.

A former representative in the Motion Picture Association and Taiwan’s anti-piracy / IP associations, Catherine brings to blackx over 22 years of extensive experience managing finance, acquisitions, distribution and IP from Twentieth Century Fox in Taiwan, where she was Finance Director.

“We’re beyond thrilled to welcome these highly talented and widely respected individuals from such diverse backgrounds and geographies, who share our vision here at blackx – it’s a real coup and we’re humbled by their belief in the cause. The unique strengths and experiences that each of them bring, coupled with their confidence in blackx and passion for the work we do here will undoubtedly spur our plans going forward,” said Mr Tan Chee Meng, CEO of blackx.

Chiou Chiou is an industry veteran in Greater China with an unparalleled network of deep relationships, who brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles as Head of Greater China at ADA and VP of Content Development at KKBOX.

At KKBOX, she has led on projects with renowned artists such as Eason Chan, MayDay, and ?te (pronounced Why-te) amongst many others. At blackx, both executives will work closely with Garand Wu, President of Greater China.

Hudson Wong, based in Singapore, rounds off the quartet of new hires as Head of Business Operations for blackx. With over 20 years of international banking, financial markets, treasury and risk management experience across Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Hudson was most recently Head of Corporate and E-Solution Sales for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

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Hudson has operating expertise in foreign exchange and derivatives sales and electronic foreign exchange trading, serving corporate and investment banking, project and structured financing, as well as private equity and credit fund clients.

Mr Garand Wu, President of Greater China at blackx, added, “Greater China is a key region for blackx and one which represents immense opportunities, given the unprecedented growth of the digital music economy in recent years. We look forward to the added experience that Catherine and Chiou bring, which will be invaluable to our team strength as we continue to scale and grow blackx’s presence here.”

The blackx Music Fund is managed by Prime Asia Asset Management, a Singapore-based Multi-Family Office Company that holds a Capital Market Services (“CMS”) licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Visit blackx’s official website for more information here.

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