Pelhamites start music streaming service Qore during pandemic, donate part of proceeds to Black Lives Matter


When the quarantine period began, Ryan O’Neil, founder of Qore Music and Pelham Memorial High School graduate, realized that any semblance of hope for attending concerts in the near future had disappeared. An avid lover of music and live performances, he decided to create a platform to continue sharing live music, albeit in an altered format. This led to the creation of Quarantunes, which would later rebrand into Qore, a program that would reach out to small artists, ask them to film a video of themselves performing, then send it out to those subscribed to their newsletter and put it on their website.

When the company first began as Quarantunes, national protests for racial justice were just beginning, and the platform decided to send a portion of its proceeds to Black Lives Matter charities. Now that the company has developed further, they still wish to maintain their roots in activism.

“We have a really cool opportunity right now to raise money for a very important cause while also supporting independent artists,” said O’Neil. “Now, we’re still looking to send a portion of our proceeds to whatever social justice initiative is most important at that moment. Whatever we can do to help, we want to.”

The company has grown a great deal since its creation, with a primary future goal being to eventually partner with large performance venues around the country so Qore can go to these venues with a few select artists, film each artist performing their set, then compile their performances together and sell the video for about the same price as renting a movie.

However, while still in quarantine, the company has mainly focused on growing its following locally, both through Instagram and its mailing list. Currently, there are about 650 subscribers, yet with further outreach, O’Neil believes he can have more of an impact. The newsletter is sent out weekly and contains a playlist carefully created throughout the week, any blog posts Qore has published and the performance.

The quarantine period has put limitations on what the group has been able to do, yet they have been able to find creative workarounds, holding virtual interviews with their chosen artists and making the content primarily accessible in video format. In terms of post-pandemic plans, O’Neil expressed a desire to continue the platform’s online work, as well as expanding the business to live performances and music festivals. This may include running events within Pelham showcasing local artists, an initial goal of the company. Despite the challenges the start-up has faced, the group continues to plan and create future projects—and the future of Qore.

You can learn more about Qore’s mission and their newsletter here.