In February of 2022, Swizz Beatz invested in self-described “exclusive lifestyle and vinyl brand” 12on12. Now, his fellow Verzuz creator, Timbaland, has likewise backed the Claudia Moross-founded and Cutting Edge-owned company.
12on12 reached out to DMN with word of Timbaland’s support today, disclosing the deal’s general details in a release but opting not to respond when asked about the investment’s precise size. In any event, 51-year-old Timbaland has secured “a strategic stake” in the London-headquartered business and is in the process of developing a project.
In keeping with its name, eight-year-old 12on12 puts out limited-edition 12-track curations on 12-inch vinyl; Timbaland’s custom project (along with related merch and artwork) “will look to be released in the beginning of 2024,” per higher-ups.
Besides this forthcoming release, the Norfolk, Virginia-born artist and entrepreneur is poised to “highlight the unique relationship between music and art, bringing the two mediums together to create a truly transcendental experience,” 12on12 indicated.
Addressing the investment, Anthem Entertainment-partnered Timbaland made clear his plans to assist 12on12 in “working with iconic artists who will collaborate with incredible visual artists.” Meanwhile, founder and creative director Claudia Moross underscored the far-reaching impact of Swizz Beatz’s own involvement during the past 18 or so months.
“Swizz Beatz’s involvement over the past year and a half has helped take 12on12 to the next level, from expanding into editioned fine art prints to creating more immersive 360 experiences with each launch,” said Moross, previously an exec at Cutting Edge proper. “We are excited to have Timbaland’s electric energy and business acumen added to the mix and witness the magic they create together.”
Timbaland’s 12on12 tie-up has arrived amid years-running growth for vinyl, which in 2022 outsold CDs for the first time since 1987 in the UK as well as the US, according to BPI and RIAA data. Moreover, evidence suggests that the sales-growth trend has continued to this point in 2023, which has seen Metallica purchase a massive record pressing plant and the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA drop a vinyl turntable.
On the limited-edition front, Warner Music Group’s Rhino Records in May kicked off a quarterly Hi-Fi vinyl series, and Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records has gone ahead and offered a number of multi-thousand-dollar vinyl releases.
Similarly, fan demand for merch is showing few signs of slowing, and particularly given the astronomical prices charged for many such items, high-quality limited-edition purchase options will presumably appeal to certain diehard supporters. 12on12 is currently selling a Steve Aoki-Richard Orlinski hoodie, capped at 80 units, for a cool $140.