Singapore-based Music Fund blackx Deepens Bench Strength in Asia
With Key Appointments Across Markets; Launches Operations in Japan
SINGAPORE – 16 August 2023 – blackx, a leader in Asia music-related investments, today announced a series of senior hires across various growth markets – significantly strengthening its bench strength in Asia.
Recognised as one of the most respected artist managers in the music industry, Hiroki Shirasuka joins blackx as Head of Japan. With extensive expertise in Japan as well as the UK as Co-Founder of Giant Artist Management, ESEA Music and EarthPercent, Hiroki is widely lauded for developing and delivering critically acclaimed, innovative and globally successful artists in the last 15 years. The veteran music executive has worked with some of Japan’s biggest artists such as Fujii Kaze and Daiki Tsuneta. Hiroki has been actively connectingAsian 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.
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.
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. 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.
“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.
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.”
blackx Launches In Japan
The appointment of Hiroki Shirasuka as Head of Japan marks blackx’s official launch in the vast Japanese music market.
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.
“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.”
According to IFPI’s latest 2023 Global Music Report1 , 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.
Unlocking And Enriching The Value of Music With A Creator-First Approach
In May 2023, blackx announced its acquisition of a catalog comprising publishing rights to over 230 songs by renowned songwriter Frances Wang, as part of its creator-first approach to acquiring, creating and distributing IP and amplifying content.
Just last month, 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.
With its focus on acquisitions of catalogs, partnerships with top tier artists, as well as the incubation and grooming of emerging talent, blackx will work to enable creators to continue generating more valuable and compelling musical content.
At the same time, the team will support them 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.
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.
“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.
Catalog comprises publishing rights to over 230 songs, including iconic Asian hits by artists such as Faye Wong, A-Mei, Jeff Zhang Xin Zhe, Oaeen, Eason Chan, Wan Fang and Tiger Huang Xiao Hu
SINGAPORE – 4 May 2023 – blackx, one of Asia’s pioneers in music-related investments, has acquired a catalog comprising publishing rights to over 230 songs by renowned songwriter Frances Wang, Zhong Yan 王中言. During her illustrious career spanning 30 years, Frances has created a catalog of award winning hits performed by top Asian artists such as:
• Wakin Chao – 周华健 Ni Shuo De Dui 你说的对
• Mavis Fan Xiao Xuan – 范晓萱 Hao Xiang Tan Lian Ai 好想谈恋爱
• Tiger Huang Xiao Hu – 黄小琥 Bu Zhi Shi Peng You 不只是朋友
• Rene Liu 刘若英 – Da Le Yi Ba Yin Shi Gei Ni 打了一把钥匙给你
• Oaeen 鱼丁糸 – Xin Qing Dian Ti 心情电梯
• William So 苏永康 – Nan Ren Bu Gai Rang Nu Ren Liu Lei 男人不该
• Wan Fang 万芳 – Ye Zhao Liang Le Ye 夜照亮了夜
• Faye Wong 王菲 – Juan Lian 眷恋
• Sky Wu Si Kai 伍思凯 – Ji Mo Gong Lu 寂寞公路
• Zhang Hui Mei (A-Mei) 张惠妹 – Bu Xiang Ge Da Ren 不像个大人
• Jeff Zhang Xin Zhe 张信哲 – Bu Yao Dui Ta Shuo 不要对她说
• Zhou Chuan Xiong (Xiao Gang) 周传雄 – Nuan Feng 暖风
An influential figure in the Chinese music industry, Taiwan-based Frances is highly sought after for her signature blend of poetic prose that showcases complex emotions. Her creations are characterized by a profound yet delicate lyrical style.
On her collaboration with blackx, Frances said: “It’s extremely fulfilling to be able to partner blackx on their strategy to enable both artists and investors to participate equitably and efficiently in the economy of Asian music. blackx’s creator-first approach to acquiring, creating and distributing IP and amplifying content is both appealing and exciting to artists and content creators alike. I look forward to scaling our collaboration to even greater heights in the future.
A multi-disciplinary creator, Frances has taken on artistic challenges that saw her becoming a film maker, music executive producer, as well as author. She is currently also working on a movie screenplay.
blackx’s President of Greater China, Garand Wu, said: “As a seasoned and well-loved music industry veteran, Frances’ lyrics carry depth and emotion that appeal across genres and ages. Her catalog will provide us with a huge amount of captive, ready content to work with in terms of how we can transform and amplify these into different formats and promote across platforms. At blackx, we will work with creators to expand and optimize the breadth of their assets across their properties and business segments, so that we can maximize the life and revenue potential of these musical assets.”
With this collaborative approach, creators can continue generating more valuable and compelling musical content, while blackx supports them in nurturing the value of their IP through the pursuit of creative and commercialization efforts such as artist and repertoire management, publishing, marketing and promotion.
Singapore-based Music Fund blackx and Asia’s Music Icon Tanya Chua
Embark on Groundbreaking Music Rights Partnership
To Drive Artistic Vision And Next Generation Content
SINGAPORE – 12 July 2023 – blackx玄乐, one of Asia’s pioneers in music-related investments, has inked a multi-year exclusive global music rights publishing partnership with Tanya Chua 蔡健雅, to manage her entire repertoire of musical intellectual property (IP) rights with the overall aim of driving artistic vision and next generation content, as well as to inspire emerging songwriters.
Tanya Chua is Asia’s record-breaking, award-winning producer and singer-songwriter with an illustrious career spanning over two decades. Her multiple wins at Taiwan’s 2022 Golden Melody Awards (GMA) for “Album Of The Year” and “Best Mandarin Album” for her “DEPART” album mark the first such win ever in the Awards’ history. Tanya Chua is also the only artist ever to be awarded the GMA for Best Female Singer (Mandarin) a record-breaking four times – in 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2022. The GMA is often recognised as Asia’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards in the Mando-pop industry.
With the partnership, blackx will oversee the musical IP rights for Tanya Chua’s musical works, including all-time hits, such as Letting Go, 達爾文, 空白格, 陌生人, 無底洞, 拋物線, 失語者, 別找我麻煩 as well as her latest award-winning album “DEPART”.
blackx will also manage the rights of top hits composed by Tanya Chua and performed by other renowned artists, as well as that of her collaborations with top artists including Carla Bruni, Jolin Tsai, Jam Hsiao, A-Mei, Eason Chan, Na Ying and others.
Ms Tanya Chua said: “Making great music that not only entertains but resonates with audiences has always been my focus. This partnership with blackx will raise the bar on connecting with my fans through a variety of content formats, distribution platforms and artistic collaborations. Ultimately, I hope that my works can engage and inspire more emerging songwriters, while accompanying listeners on their personal journeys throughout the years.”
The agreement also covers Tanya Chua’s future compositions and songs, further paving the way for potential opportunities that may lie ahead for the partners. “Tanya is a landmark Asian artist and her works underpin the foundation for blackx to build upon. We are stoked to partner with one of Asia’s generational talents who embodies timelessness, and to fulfil her passion and enable endless possibilities for her award-winning body of work, in turn creating new experiences for her fans not only in Asia but globally,” said Mr Tan Chee Meng 陈志民, CEO of blackx.
Tanya Chua’s works have received unwaning popularity over the years. Her classic hits such as 達爾文，Letting Go, 失語者、空白格, are constantly covered and thereby loved by new generations in turn. With a steady stream of listeners at a rising rate, today, her songs see more than 100 million streams a year.
In May, she performed sold-out shows at Taipei Arena to kick start her world tour “Kisses for the world – Let’s DEPART!”, as well as another sold-out show at the Hong Kong Coliseum last month. On 1 July, Tanya Chua was invited as a guest performer at this year’s 34th Golden Melody Awards, which ranked as one of the awards’ top 5 TV performances.
Pioneering Content Acquisition, Creation and Distribution In Asia With A Creator-First Approach
With a view to enrich the overall value of her assets, blackx will manage all of Tanya Chua’s musical rights on a global basis while supporting her artistic vision of developing and investing in new IPs.
This effort entails maximizing her existing musical IP or working with her to create and curate new musical works across a variety of audio-visual formats leveraging these vast catalogues. With a strong presence across the Asian markets of Singapore, Greater China and Japan, blackx will also distribute and promote these IPs through emerging platforms and explore vertical segments such as gaming and fitness, for instance.
“Singer-songwriters over the years have looked at alternative ways to optimize and enrich the life of their musical IP and assets – including transforming their top musical hits into musical scores, film plots and leveraging technology and innovation for new, immersive experiences. The possibilities that we’re seeing in this space today is even more exciting as our partnership with Tanya kicks off, given the depth and breadth of her vast content portfolio, as well as the wider Asian content we could potentially access in the future to redefine history and culture,” said blackx’s President of Greater China, Mr Garand Wu 吴佳伦.
“Our vision has always been to enable artists to be successful in the pursuit of their craft – both creatively and commercially, as well as allowing creators and investors to participate in each other’s success. blackx will play a key role in managing the entire value chain end-to-end for creators to focus on their creative endeavours, while connecting with new audiences at a deeper level through different, innovative experiences,” added Tan.
Strong Momentum Following Recent Acquisition Of Catalog of Award-Winning Asian Hits by Renowned Taiwanese Songwriter Frances Wang, Zhong Yan
In May 2023, blackx announced its acquisition of a catalog comprising publishing rights to over 230 songs by renowned songwriter Frances Wang, Zhong Yan, as part of its creator-first approach to acquiring, creating and distributing IP and amplifying content.
Carrying depth and emotion that appeal across genres and ages, blackx intends to similarly transform and amplify this catalog of lyrics into different formats, which can thereafter be promoted across platforms.
$100m-Backed Asia-Focused Fund blackx Strikes Global Music Rights Partnership With Superstar Tanya Chua
SG blackx Fund Acquires IP Rights to Tanya Chua’s Music and Compositions
SG’s blackx Music Fund Seeks to Acquire ‘Under-represented’ IP in North, SE Asia
Music Royalties Strike A Chord With Asia’s Wealth
$100 Million-Backed, Asia-Focused Music Fund Blackx Buys Catalog Of Taiwanese Songwriter Frances Wang
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. 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.
With extensive expertise in Japan as well as the UK, Hiroki has established himself as one of the most respected artist managers as Co-Founder of Giant Artist Management, ESEA Music, and EarthPercent. Widely recognised for consistently developing and delivering critically acclaimed, innovative, and globally successful artists in the last 15 years, 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.
Renowned as Asia’s award-winning music icon, Tanya Chua is the only artist ever to be awarded Taiwan’s Golden Melody Award a record-breaking 4 times, and her multiple wins at the 2022 GMAs for “Album Of The Year” and “Best Mandarin Album” for her “DEPART” album also mark a first in the Awards’ history.
An influential figure in the Chinese music industry, Taiwan-based Frances is highly sought after for her signature blend of poetic prose that showcases complex emotions.
Garand is a renowned veteran musician and former Managing Director of Universal Music (China), the world’s largest record company where he was responsible for whole-of-China business. During his tenure, he significantly expanded the company’s presence throughout China and led major initiatives, including Universal Music (China) being the first international major music company to launch multi-label operations in China.
With over 25 years of experience in senior industry roles that span live entertainment, media and music across Asia, Garand has extensive and vast knowledge of strategic music marketing and label management in Asia, particularly in the Greater China region. A senior A&R executive producer who has built connections between the East and West as well as brought domestic artists into the global arena, Garand has personally signed artists such as Ouyang Nana, Guo Ding, and Tanya Chua.
Garand is also an experienced IP creator, with expertise in copyright development and digitisation. He has led the development of innovative revenue channels that have reshaped the industry landscape and accelerated the trend of artists’ monetising content through direct engagement with fans. Today, he is widely recognised for his contributions to the digitisation and copyright development of the music industry in mainland China.
Originally from Taiwan, he was part of the founding team with UFO Records and has held senior positions in international companies such as EMI and MTV.
Chee Meng has over 25 years of experience in senior roles across media, technology as well as both independent and major labels. Possessing unique insights and deep understanding of the music industry from all perspectives, Chee Meng brings expert knowledge of Asian cultural nuances and business practices. Chee Meng also led Spotify’s launch of the global streaming service in all the markets in Asia.
With a proven track record in shaping the digital music landscape in Asia and driving explosive industry growth across the region in recent years, Chee Meng is the first and only Singaporean in history to appear twice on Billboard Magazine’s International Power Players List.
A sought-after industry thought leader, Chee Meng has spoken widely at events such as MIDEM (Cannes), Music Matters (Singapore), Golden Melody Awards Conference (Taiwan), Mu:Con (Korea). Today, he also advises several music and tech start-ups, both in Asia and internationally.