Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd supports RNCM students

Four talented popular music students at the RNCM have received generous support from Hipgnosis Songs Management, including Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Songs Capital.

Founded by renowned music industry expert and entrepreneur Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Songs Fund is a £1.7 billion market cap FTSE 250 Song Management company housing over 60,000 songs, including Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), We Are Family, Le Freak and Don’t Stop Believin‘.

Merck Mercuriadis

Credit: Jill Furmonvsky

Awarded an RNCM Honorary Professorship alongside Nile Rodgers last year, Merck’s knowledge of the music business – from artist management to music publishing – is unrivalled. In addition to his role as Founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Management, he has managed an incredible list of global artists over the past 30 years, including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Morrissey, Beyoncé and Iron Maiden.

On establishing the Hipgnosis Award at the RNCM, Merck Mercuriadis said, ‘The great song catalogues of tomorrow will come from the great young songwriters that are developing today. Nile Rodgers and I have experienced first-hand the incredible work being nurtured at the Royal Northern College of Music and we are delighted to be able to help support their efforts.’

This year’s recipients are Italian postgraduate drummer Riccardo O’Grady, and undergraduates Kaden Thomas (bass guitar, USA), Safi Passman (electric guitar, UK), and Nyah Branch (vocals, USA). All four are incredibly grateful to receive this invaluable support and are looking forward to meeting Merck over the next few months.

Petra van den Houten, Head of Major Gift, said: ‘It’s been wonderful to work with Merck on establishing the Hipgnosis Award and I look forward to watching the development of these young musicians over the years to come. Without his support they would not have been able to attend the RNCM and everyone here is immensely proud of this new and exciting relationship.’

Based in Manchester, UK, the RNCM trains exceptionally talented musicians, composers and conductors for successful and sustainable careers in all areas of the music industry. In 2015 it became the only UK conservatoire to offer a four-year undergraduate BMus Honours degree in Popular Music, with the expertise of international artists such Merck and Nile being integral to the programme.

3 December 2021

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