Women in Music 2019

Hipgnosis Acquires Catalog of Adele, Stormzy Collaborator Fraser T. Smith

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Fraser T. Smith during the 63rd Annual Ivor Novello Songwriting Awards at Grosvenor House in London on May 31, 2018.

LONDON — Music IP investment company Hipgnosis continues to grow its catalog roster with the acquisition of just under 300 songs by British songwriter and producer Fraser T. Smith, best known for penning hits for Adele, Stormzy and Taio Cruz.

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which sees Hipgnosis pick up 100% of Smith's writer share of performance income from 298 songs he has co-written or produced.

Included among the 298 songs is Adele's Grammy-winning "Set Fire to the Rain," which Smith co-wrote and produced. According to Hipgnosis, "Set Fire to the Rain" has been streamed over 480 million times on Spotify and topped more than a dozen charts, including the Billboard Hot 100.

Smith also is also listed as co-writer and co-executive producer of Stormzy's 2017 debut Gang Signs & Prayer, which won "British Album of the Year" at the 2018 Brit awards and became the first grime album to top the U.K. charts.

Other hits he has co-written and/or produced include "Break Your Heart" by Taio Cruz, "Broken Strings" by James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado and the aptly-named British chart topping single "Number 1" by Tinchy Stryder featuring N-Dubz.

Smith also has credits on Sam Smith's Grammy-winning studio debut In The Lonely Hour and Jesse & Joy's Un Besito Más, winner of Best Latin Pop Album and Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Latin Grammys. He has additionally worked with Cee Lo Green, Craig David and British rappers Kano, Dave and Plan B.

Announcing the deal, Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis said it was an honor to add Smith's songs to the fast-growing Hipgnosis roster.

"Every time I hear one of Fraser's songs they always feel special. He writes and produces enormously successful songs that make popular music not only special but culturally important," said Mercuriadis.

Returning the compliment, Fraser T. Smith said Mercuriadis' pedigree "as a music industry executive, manager and visionary is almost unprecedented."

"Above all, he truly realizes the value of the song in popular culture," said the songwriter.

Hipgnosis' acquisition of Smith's catalog is the 29th deal the company has closed in 2019. In October it completed one of its biggest deals to date, when it picked up the complete catalog of multiple Grammy-winning hit-maker Timbaland. Other catalogs acquired this year include The Chainsmokers, Benny Blanco and Sam Hollander. 

According to Hipgnosis' maiden financial results, published in June, the company generated revenues of £7.2 million ($9.2 million) from its first 12 catalog holdings between June 8, 2018 to 31 March, 2019.


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