Olivier Chastan’s acquisition vehicle, Iconoclast, has acquired the catalog of Mad Decent Publishing, co-founded by DJ and producer Diplo and Kevin Kusastsu.
Since its launch in 2006, Mad Decent Publishing has delivered hits such as Baauer’s viral sensation Harlem Shake and Major Lazer’s Lean On, which was at one time Spotify’s most streamed song of all time.
Los Angeles-based Iconoclast calls Mad Decent “one of the industry’s most diverse and important labels and publishing companies”. The fee for the transaction has not been disclosed.
Founded by Olivier Chastan, Los Angeles-based Iconoclast entered the music rights acquisition space in February 2022 via the purchase of the rights to ‘The Band’ legend Robbie Robertson’s music publishing and name, image, and likeless, plus his recorded music interests, covering his career to date.
Robertson wrote and played on a run of hits for legendary rock act, The Band, including The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Up On Cripple Creek.
Across the course of last year, sources in the M&A space tell MBW, Iconoclast also made multiple music rights/interests acquisitions, spending over USD $300 million in total.
Songs included in the Mad Decent Publishing catalog were composed by the likes of elite Mad Decent Publishing songwriters Henry Agincourt Allen (pka King Henry), Philip Meckseper (pka JR. Blender), Karen Orsted (pka MØ), Valentino Kahn, Clement & Maxime Picard, and Dillon Francis, including hits such as Major Lazer’s Lean On (ft. MØ and DJ Snake).
Other hits include Cold Water (ft. Justin Bieber and MØ), and Know No Better (ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, and Quavo), plus Panic! At The Disco’s hit Hey Look Ma, I Made It, Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart (ft. Miley Cyrus), Sia’s Elastic Heart and Thunderclouds, and Kehlani’s Gangsta.
In July 2022, veteran music executive and producer Irv Gotti (Irving Lorenzo), the founder of rap label Murder Inc, sold a stake in his master recordings to Iconoclast in a deal worth $300 million.
The US-based French executive quietly launched Iconoclast in fall 2021, and, speaking with MBW in February 2022, said that the company had completed five separate music rights acquisitions since then.
Iconoclast’s founder added that his new acquisition vehicle has a “strong focus on technology”, including immersive entertainment and blockchain, and added that, “we want to drive the conversion to make legacy artists relevant in the future of entertainment”.
MBW’s sources tell us that Iconoclast is being backed by Pimco, which has over $2 trillion in assets under management. Chastan refused to comment on that suggestion while speaking with MBW in February 2022.
“Our acquisition of the Mad Decent Publishing catalog illustrates our commitment to preserving and growing culturally significant art of any era including with artists that are shaping contemporary music.”
Olivier Chastan, Iconoclast
Olivier Chastan, founder & CEO of Iconoclast, said: “I first became aware of Mad Decent when Kevin Kusatsu and Diplo were working on the first Major Lazer album.
“The sound was completely different, the songwriting utterly original and fresh-sounding, and the production uniquely creative. That same uncompromising creative approach resulted in one of the most exciting and original catalogs where Brazilian Baile Funk and Angolan Kuduro mix with EDM and pop.”
“Our acquisition of the Mad Decent Publishing catalog illustrates our commitment to preserving and growing culturally significant art of any era including with artists that are shaping contemporary music.”Music Business Worldwide