Queer Music Agency (QMA) Celebrates U.S. Launch

New York gains an agency that exclusively represents LGBTQ+ musicians

By Ali Ahsan
It was a vibrant affair at the U.S. launch party for Queer Music Agency (QMA) on March 23rd. A combined record label, management, and booking agency based in Europe, QMA marked the occasion with an exclusive set of live performances featuring LGBTQ+ musicians including Sedric Perry, Brianna Musco, and Nai’a. Hosted at 3 Dollar Bill, a fixture of queer nightlife in Brooklyn, the lineup was reminiscent of a full festival experience – showcasing artists from many genres, some even defying genre distinctions, and proved to be a spirited celebration of LGBTQ+ voices in the music industry by an agency that promised to bring new musical experiences that center LGBTQ+ voices.

Photo: Erynn Wakefield

Established in 2021 in Denmark by Frederik Diness Ove, QMA exclusively represents LGBTQ+ artists trying to break through in the music industry. Some might ask if LGBTQ+ representation in music is an issue – after all, three queer women won in the Big Four categories at the 2024 Grammys  (Miley Cyrus won the Record of the Year, Billie Eilish the Song of the Year, and Victoria Monét was declared the Best New Artist). While this representation reflects progress for the community, it does not assure it. Studies suggest that increased LGBTQ+ representation in media is a relatively recent trend, and one that is uneven across countries. With the recent opening of its US branch, QMA is setting the stage to address the lack of diversity in mainstream music from an international vantage point, and with a cadre of artists spanning from 80s synthpop to hip-hop and from techno to classical music.

Performer Sedric Perry. Photo: Andrew Giraldo

In line with its mission for broader inclusivity, the launch also featured drag performers who entertained audiences between music sets and brought out vendors selling goods with the LGBTQ+ community in mind. That, too, is in the company’s design. “We’re different than most mainstream labels and we can do things that most mainstream labels can’t,” said Emily Burnett, Head of Marketing for the U.S. branch, in an exclusive interview with Groovevolt. “What makes us so unique is that we are all queer to begin with and we all care about the community. It’s more grassroots, [we] know the community and the people. Instead of big labels trying to penetrate it from the outside, we’re bringing it from the inside.” Co-founder of the U.S. branch, Aliya Bloom chimed in, “[QMA] is not just a label, it’s individualized care we’re giving. We want you to feel authentic as yourself because that’s what people will gravitate [to]. And to do it differently than anyone else has done it, that’s what it means to be queer.”

Drag Queen Mariyea. Photo: Andrew Giraldo

Performer Nai’a. Photo: Emily Tindol

Indeed, QMA’s ethos seems to be resonating with artists.  The team has been working to expand its footprint outside the northeast quickly. “We’re already signing artists in Nashville and just gaining traction,” continued Burnett. “We have a lot more events in the pipeline that we’re excited for! 2024 is just the start of QMA in the U.S.”