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Julian Casablancas Sells Stake of Strokes Catalog to Primary Wave

Primary Wave has acquired a stake in Casablancas' share of publishing and masters for the garage rock band's catalog.

The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has sold a portion of his share of publishing and a full share of master ownership for the band’s catalog to Primary Wave Music. Though the deal includes the biggest hits Casablancas has made in his career, like “Last Night,” “Reptilia,” “You Only Live Once,” and “Someday,” the deal does not involve Casablancas’ solo works or his other band, The Voidz.

Casablancas sometimes wrote The Strokes songs by himself, and other times he worked alongside his bandmates, however, the songwriting for all four aforementioned hit songs is credited solely to Casablancas. Over the course of Casablancas’ career in the band, The Strokes have earned five top 10 charting albums on the Billboard 200 and have generated five million equivalent album units in the U.S. for their work, according to Luminate, 3.37 million of which are pure album sales. On the streaming front, Luminate shows the band has gained 1.85 billion on-demand official streams in the U.S.

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According to the terms of the deal, Primary Wave will provide marketing and branding services for Casablancas as well as licensing and synch opportunities.

The Primary Wave agreement comes a year after Casablancas announced a new publishing pact with Concord Music Publishing, including his past and future solo works as well as works from The Voidz, his other band. On the records side, Casablancas founded his own label imprint Cult Records in 2009 as a way to release his own solo work. Five years later, the label became a standalone, partnered with AWAL and Kobalt Label Services. Most recently, in 2019, it was announced that ONErpm would be handling Cult Records’ distribution and marketing moving forward. Since its inception, signees for Cult include Karen O., Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., and more.

The Strokes have released every one of their albums via RCA Records apart from their 2016 EP Future Present Past, which was partnered with Cult Records.

Since Is This It, their landmark 2001 debut, The Strokes have proven to be one of the most influential rock bands of the 21st century. In an announcement about the Casablancas deal, Primary Wave Music’s David Weitzman said, “Primary Wave is thrilled to partner with Julian Casablancas for his works in The Strokes. Julian’s extraordinary talents as a songwriter, singer, and leader infuse the magic that is The Strokes. The Strokes are one of the most important bands of this century and are beloved by a multi-generational audience who have made them a global festival headliner.”