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ON THE BMM COVER:
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SONY U.K. PARTNERS WITH NQ
2/6/24

Pictured (l-r): Jamie Spinks, head of A&R at Columbia U.K.; Anthony Orum SMAB Solicitors (repping NQ Records), NQ CEO & founder Michael Adex; Dipesh Parmar, Columbia U.K. president; Amy Wheatley, Columbia U.K. MD (Photo Credit: Joe McGowan)

Growing U.K. music company NQ has signed a partnership with Columbia Records U.K. and The Orchard.

As part of the deal, Columbia Records will have access to emerging talent in the north of England, where NQ is based. The artists brought forward will receive the support of the Sony label for production, recording and marketing. NQ artists will also gain access to The Orchard’s full suite of services and global network.

NQ, which encompasses label, publishing and management arms, currently works with top-selling British rapper Aitch, South London artist Blanco, Birmingham rapper MIST, Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling production duo WhyJay & LiTek (WhyTek), and recently signed East London rapper Morrisson.

With the new collaboration, Aitch, who hit #2 in the U.K. with his debut album (released via UMG U.K. labels Capitol/EMI) in 2022, has signed an exclusive recording partnership with NQ powered by The Orchard. He is expected to release new music early this year.

Dipesh Parmar, president of Columbia Records U.K., said the status of Michael Adex, founder and CEO of NQ, “as a Manchester music-scene powerhouse gives us further access to northern talent via his broad network across the U.K.

“Myself, Amy [Wheatley] and the Columbia team are delighted to be partnering with NQ, we share the same vision in nurturing and developing artists early, and we're excited for what the new venture will bring."

Ian Dutt, president of The Orchard U.K., added, "NQ's artist-first approach directly aligns with The Orchard's M.O. We look forward to working with Adex and the NQ team and bringing their talent-rich legacy to global audiences."

Adex called the partnership “a great way to open our artists to international markets via The Orchard's and Columbia Records U.K.’s global distribution channels, while NQ Records continues to add value with a bespoke, artist-centric approach on the frontlines.

“As game changers in the industry today, this partnership demonstrates our combined commitment to shaking up the music industry and championing amazing talent both in the north and south.”