News

28 July 2020
LITTLE SIMZ AND AJ TRACEY TO BE HONOURED AT AIM AWARDS 2020
  • Both artists to also perform and Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso to curate Tony Allen tribute 
  • Shortlists for Best Live Act and PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist revealed
  • Helen Smith receives Indie Champion Award
  • BBC 1Xtra’s Tiffany Calver named as host
  • Official AIM Awards app launched
  • Watch the virtual ceremony on 12 August from 7pm here

The tenth AIM Independent Music Awards is now just over two weeks away and we have some game-changing announcements to make including that two of the UK’s most exciting artists, AJ Tracey and Little Simz will be honoured and perform at this year’s virtual event, which is taking place at 7pm on 12th August, free to watch via SBTV’s YouTube channel.

While there is so much struggle and adversity being faced in the world, it’s our view that the importance of an independent music awards has never been greater. Following all of the work, passion and tenacity of the independent sector to survive and thrive against the odds, it’s more important than ever to come together as a community and celebrate independent music and your collective achievements at this time.

So get involved! Set your reminders, subscribe to SBTV’s channel and download the brand new official AIM Awards app (search ‘AIM – Official’ on the iOS or Android App Store) for updates! Now for the announcements…

LITTLE SIMZ RECEIVES THE PIONEER AWARD

The winner of this year’s prestigious Pioneer Award (in association with Evoke), is one of the most talented and prolific pioneers of UK rap, Little Simz. Taking to the stage for a special performance on the night, Little Simz is the youngest ever recipient of the Award.

“Delighted to receive the Pioneer Award this year and excited to perform”, said Little Simz, “Big thank you and love to AIM Awards!”

AJ TRACEY WINS THE INNOVATOR AWARD

Following his surprise performance at last year’s event, AJ Tracey will be taking away the Innovator prize (in association with Amazon Music) and will return to the AIM Awards stage for 2020. With his dedication to making music and building a brand on his own terms, AJ has scored five UK top ten singles to date, including the million-selling, double-Platinum smash Ladbroke Grove. After selling out two dates at the iconic 10,000 capacity Alexandra Palace in November 2019, AJ has now racked up over a billion streams globally.

AJ Tracey said “Being an independent artist is incredibly important to me and winning this award is a huge honour. I’m a massive fan of those who have received this before me so it really means a lot.”

TRIBUTE PERFORMANCE TO TONY ALLEN LED BY FEMI KOLEOSO

The event will also feature a very special live set in honour of Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen, who will receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award posthumously. Curated by his friend and drumming student, Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso, the tribute will bring together a group of musicians performing a stunning medley of the late virtuoso’s work.

HELEN SMITH RECEIVES INDIE CHAMPION AWARD

This year’s Indie Champion Award will go to IMPALA’s executive chair Helen Smith, acknowledging her incredible work representing the rights of independent companies and their artists across Europe. Since taking the helm in 2007, Helen has taken on many challenges, from Europe’s first ever class action court case on a merger, the adoption of the new EU copyright directive, the divestment process with WMG and Merlin, with its twists and turns, never been done in any other sector, and most recently the IMPALA COVID-19 Task Force.

Helen Smith said: “AIM is where I started out in the independent sector, so this is a very special award to me. I feel very privileged to work in such an inspiring community which is incredibly dynamic and fast moving. AIM is one of the key contributors to IMPALA’s energy and it’s an honour to receive this award.”

FINAL NOMINEES REVEALED

Following over 19,000 votes, the public has decided this year’s shortlist for the Best Live Act Award in association with Creative Technology: Ayanna Witter-JohnsonThe DarknessRed Rum ClubThe Reytons and Five Finger Death Punch.

Celebrating success across the airwaves, the shortlist for the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist has also been revealed: Freya RidingsNSGJade BirdFontaines D.C. and Jaykae.

The nominees for Best Independent Label in association with [PIAS] and Best Small Label will be exclusively revealed today by AIM Awards social media presenter and BBC Music Introducing’s Jess Iszatt via the AIM Awards app. Download the AIM Awards app for real-time updates, exclusive content, and more here. In the app store search ‘AIM – Official’.

TIFFANY CALVER HOSTS

As the UK’s first large scale awards show to go digital, this year’s dazzling virtual ceremony will be hosted by tastemaker DJ and leading voice of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Rap Show, Tiffany Calver. Alongside the Tony Allen tribute and performances from AJ Tracey and Little Simz, the show will feature a live set from fast-rising South London poet and singer Arlo Parks.

Tiffany Calver added: “AIM’s dedication to celebrating artists that are really thriving and the businesses that support them is something I’m incredibly passionate about and I’m truly honoured to be hosting this year’s awards ceremony. There are so many exciting artists represented in the list of nominees and it’s such a pleasure to champion their achievements.”

LIVE STREAMED VIA SBTV

The ceremony will be available to live stream on 12th August at 7pm (BST) here. The live stream is being delivered in partnership with SBTV and with support from YouTube. Meanwhile Music Week has come on board as the AIM Awards trade media partner.

Kalex Willzy, Head of Social Media, SBTV said: “We as a platform have always championed independent music. We are honoured to be a part of this celebration of independent achievements, and will continue to play a role in supporting and helping independent artists break through.”

VIP HAMPERS AVAILABLE FOR ONE MORE WEEK

Viewers can purchase an exclusive VIP Dinner-For-Two Hamper or AIM Awards Pub In A Box which will be delivered directly to their doors for the full dining and drinking experience. This is a great way to show some support for the awards and make it a special experience for yourself, your artists, your suppliers, friends and family or your colleagues!

We’re proud that the delicious hamper meal is plant-based to reduce our impact on the environment, something very important to AIM and our membership. The limited run is available until 5 August. Bulk purchase codes are available – please email here for more info or use the links above for standard orders.

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