Armada’s $100m BEAT Music Fund strikes series of rights deals in the UK, including the entire catalog of Sola Records

Photo courtesy of Armada Music
Armada Music and BEAT Music Fund CEO Maykel Piron.

Armada Music‘s BEAT Music Fund’s campaign to invest $100 million in dance music rights in the first two years of its existence continues apace, with the fund announcing on Thursday a series of new acquisitions, including the entire back catalog of Sola Records.

The Netherlands-headquartered investment fund has also acquired “a significant portion” of the catalog of VIVa MUSiC, the UK-headquartered label launched in 2006 by DJ Steve Lawler. Additionally, BEAT Music Fund has acquired the master recordings of Ran-D’s Zombie and Human Resource’s Dominator.

BEAT Music Fund didn’t disclose the value of the acquisitions.

UK-headquartered Sola Records was founded in 2017 by production duo Mark Richards and James Eliot, aka Solardo. BEAT’s acquisition of Sola’s catalog includes works by Solardo, as well as artists such as Biscits, Hannah Laing, Shermanology, CamelPhat, SOSA, Piero Pirupa, Ben Hemsley, Martin Ikin, Hannah Wants, Franky Rizardo, Will Clarke and Secondcity.

BEAT didn’t specify which parts of the VIVa catalog it acquired, but acts released by the label include Anek, Audiofly, David Pher, Detlef, LEON, Livio & Roby, Radio Slave and Simon Baker.

Human Resource’s 1991 single Dominator broke into the Top 40 in both the UK and the Netherlands, marking the birth of the hardcore/gabber subgenre of EDM.

DJ Ran-D released a cover of the Cranberries’ seminal track Zombie on Armada Music in 2017. It was certified gold in the Netherlands in 2019.

“It is truly an honor that Sola Records, VIVa MUSiC, Ran-D and Human Resource are entrusting us to breathe new life into their incredible music,” Maykel Piron, CEO of BEAT Music Fund and parent company Armada Music, said in a statement.

“As BEAT continues to grow, these partnerships provide us with a prime opportunity to collaborate with the best and the brightest in dance, bolster their legacies, and bring these tracks to the forefront.”

Launched by Armada Music – the indie label behind dance/techno artists such as Chicane, Ferry Corsten and Paul Van Dyk – this past spring, BEAT Music Fund has set an ambitious target of building a $500 million music investment portfolio, including in that $100 million in investments in its first two years.

The investment company is backed by Pinnacle Financial Partners, a Nashville, Tennessee-based financial services firm with $42 billion in assets as of the end of 2022, including $2 billion in entertainment-related assets.

BEAT’s launch “adds a new dimension to the work we’re doing with Armada Music, and we’re super excited to bring in more incredible labels, artists and songs to boost and complement our current catalog of 40,000 tracks,” Piron said at the time.

“As BEAT continues to grow, these partnerships provide us with a prime opportunity to collaborate with the best and the brightest in dance, bolster their legacies, and bring these tracks to the forefront.”

Maykel Piron, Armada Music/BEAT Music Fund

BEAT, which stands for “Best Ever Acquired Tracks,” announced at the time of its launch that it had acquired the master recordings catalog of KMS Records, founded by house and techno legend Kevin Saunderson, as well as the master and publishing catalogs of musician, DJ and producer ARTY, a.k.a. Alpha 9.

A few months later, it announced the purchase of the master and catalog rights of Chocolate Puma, the duo consisting of Dutch producers Rene ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist, a.k.a. Dj Zki & Dobre, or The Good Men. The acquisition coveeds ter Horst and Steenkist’s releases from 1991 to 2011, and included seven tracks that charted in the US, UK or Netherlands.

At the same time, BEAT announced it had acquired New York-headquartered indie dance label King Street Sounds, which was founded in the 1990s by Hisa Ishioka, whom BEAT described as a “trailblazer” in the New York dance scene.

BEAT Music Fund says its mission is “to acquire and exploit the very best of recording and music publishing catalogs from a range of dance-related genres.”

Armada Music bills itself as “the biggest independent dance music label in the world”. Founded in 2003, its name derives from the first two letters of the names of its founders, Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis (“Ar-Ma-Da”).Music Business Worldwide

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