Q&A, the music and tech company launched in April by former Lady Gaga manager and Spotify executive Troy Carter and his longtime associate J Erving, officially announced today that it has struck a partnership with Warner Music. The announcement follows a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in May; the news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide. Q&A is an unconventional company and the Warner arrangement is a “special agreement that’s nothing like a traditional label deal,” one source says.
“At Q&A we understand the importance of taking a diversified approach to an artist’s career and we’ve built an offering that has the ability to scale to accommodate those unique needs,” says Carter (pictured above, right), the company’s founder and CEO. “After speaking with [Warner CEO of recorded music] Max Lousada, it is clear that we are aligned on the mission to maximize our ability to impact an artist’s career. Having a partnership with WMG allows us to upstream independent artists that are looking to release through a major label system, therefore, enabling us to continue to add value at every stage of their career.”
Lousada (pictured above, left) said, “We’re building an environment at Warner that amplifies true originality and backs creative risk-takers. That includes bringing dynamic entrepreneurs like Troy into our orbit, giving them access to a global network, and empowering their independent visions. The artist-centric approach at Q&A will make this a very natural, seamless collaboration, as we work together to develop bespoke strategies for a diverse group of extraordinary talent.”
According to its launch announcement, Q&A seeks to “empower the next generation of artists through technology, tools and services.” In its first move toward expansion, Q&A merged with Human Re Sources, the digital distribution and label services company launched by Erving in 2018. The merger allows Q&A and Human Re Sources to “build an integrated solution for artists via distribution, management, label services, and data analytics with a highly collaborative artist-driven approach,” with a stated goal of creating an ecosystem where entrepreneurial artists are supported throughout their entire career.
The first release for the merged companies was Philadelphia singer/songwriter Pink Sweat$, following on Human Re Sources artists such as Peter Manos, Charlotte Lawrence and Brent Faiyaz as well as the YBN collective.
The company reunites Carter and Erving with Suzy Ryoo; all of whom previously worked at Carter’s artist management company Atom Factory, the roster of which included Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Nelly and Charlie Puth.