Primary Wave has officially acquired “a stake” in the publishing and recorded catalogs of “I Will Remember You” singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan.
New York City-headquartered Primary Wave and 55-year-old Sarah McLachlan unveiled their deal via a formal release today. Though the purchasing party opted not to make public the transaction’s ownership specifics and valuation details, higher-ups did indicate that the investment extends to 1994’s “Hold On” (on which Halifax, Nova Scotia-born McLachlan is the sole songwriter), “I Will Remember You” (1995), and 1997’s “Angel” (the three-time Grammy winner is once again the lone songwriter).
Since arriving on the scene with 1988’s Touch, McLachlan has released eight additional studio albums, the newest of which, a holiday effort entitled Wonderland, debuted in 2016. Primary Wave communicated that it will coordinate with the multi-time Juno winner “to market her name and likeness” while simultaneously pursuing sync deals and plotting a “digital strategy” for her body of work.
Addressing the catalog sale in a statement, McLachlan, who boasts 2.85 million monthly listeners on Spotify, communicated: “I’m so delighted to be working with Larry and the whole team at Primary Wave. First and foremost, they are music fans, and I’m confident that this new partnership will enable us to nurture my catalogue of music carefully through the ever-changing landscape of the music industry.”
And in remarks of his own, Primary Wave founder and CEO Larry Mestel, whose company has to this point in 2023 finalized partnerships with The Doors, Steven Van Zandt, and the estate of Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Bob Burns, touted McLachlan’s influence and accomplishments.
“Sarah McLachlan is one of the most respected and influential artists of a generation, who also happens to have the voice of an ‘Angel,’” said Mestel, who in February added Robin Godfrey-Cass to his business’s executive roster. “I’m so proud to welcome her into the Primary Wave family.”
While Primary Wave’s tie-up with McLachlan represents just the latest in a line of catalog plays that have wrapped during the year’s first quarter, some evidence suggests that music-IP valuations – and the number of parties interested in dropping astronomical sums on bodies of work – could be cooling amid turbulence throughout the wider economy.
Even so, more than a few emerging players (now including investors based in Spain, Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands, and elsewhere) are still poised to deploy millions into the catalog space.
Toronto’s Kilometre Music Group, for instance, set sail in 2021 and now operates out of a “fully renovated 8,500 square foot facility” boasting “six private, state of the art, acoustically designed studios each with its own control room, vocal booth and HVAC system,” according to its website.
Per execs, Kilometre – which last year scooped up the IP of Murda Beatz, Bryson Tiller, and longtime Drake collaborator Nineteen85 – aims “to reclaim the financial rewards of the multi-decade worldwide ‘Canadian music invasion,’ for the benefit of Canadian artists, investors, and culture.”