15 September 2022


  • Brand new category Music Entrepreneur of the Year shortlists Corey Johnson, Karen Emanuel, Jamie Oborne + more
  • Newly renamed Best Boutique Label gives nods to Chess Club, Local Action and Finesse Foreva
  • Domino, Ninja Tune and Rough Trade among nominees for Best Independent Label
  • PPL’s Most Played New Independent Artist highlights Arlo Parks, KC Lights and Wet Leg


15 September, London: As the AIM Independent Music Awards prepares to return in-person at the Roundhouse on September 28, labels and teams behind some of 2022’s most exciting acts are set to receive well-deserved recognition.


Brand new category Music Entrepreneur of the Year will see a host of leading pioneers vying for the title. The shortlist includes Defenders Ent. CEO and community activist Corey Johnson, who founded The Digital Holdings studio to create a safe space in the UK Rap scene; Dirty Hit founder Jamie Oborne who spearheads the label while managing the rocketing career of The 1975; and Key Production’s Karen Emanuel, who founded Moving the Needle to support women in the UK music business. Also joining the list are Founder & CEO of Saffron Music Laura Lewis-Paul, who looks to address the gender imbalance in the music tech sector, and BBE Music Label Owner Peter Adarkwah, who has supported some of the biggest DJs and producers in the world.


Newly renamed category, Best Boutique Label (FKA Best Small Label) continues the celebration of genre specialists, with Chess Club, Edition Records, Finesse Foreva, Local Action and Rough Bones all in with a shot.


Meanwhile Domino Recording Company, Ninja Tune, Rough Trade, Partisan and Soundway Records complete the shortlist for one of the industry’s most coveted categories, Best Independent Label.


Also returning for 2022, PPL will reveal who has been dominating radio and TV, with Arlo Parks (Transgressive Records), D.O.D (Axtone Records), KC Lights (Toolroom Productions), Rathbone Place (Good Company Records) and Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company) in the running to be named the Most Played New Independent Artist of the last year.


Highlighting the creativity that amplifies the spirit of the music, the Best Creative Campaign Award puts the spotlight on the teams behind the scenes who are carving inventive new ways to connect fans with the albums and artists they love. Fontaines D.C.’s ‘Skinty Fia’ (Partisan Records), Maylee Todd’s ‘Maloo’ (Stones Throw Records), Mitski’s ‘Laurel Hell’ (Dead Oceans), Obongjayar’s ‘Some Nights I Dream of Doors’ (September Recordings) and Radiohead’s ‘KID A MNESIA’ (XL Recordings) are all in the running for the award.


A third performance will be unveiled next week, in addition to the fantastic performers already announced – cult indie rock stalwarts The Libertines and iconic grime artist Lethal Bizzle who is picking up the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award.


Big Live Show & After Party-only tickets are available here:

Last few ceremony tickets (individual and tables) are available here:


AIM CEO Paul Pacifico says: “The AIM Independent Music Awards continues to innovate. This year, we are excited to have new categories in Entrepreneur of the Year and Best Creative Campaign that really showcase the dynamism in the community and the continued successes of creative business building in the independent music sector. We look forward to celebrating with everyone at the Roundhouse in-person on the 28th September!” 


See below for newly announced nominees


Music Entrepreneur Of The Year

Corey Johnson (CEO & Founder of Defenders Ent.)

Jamie Oborne (Founder of Dirty Hit/All On Red Management)

Karen Emanuel (CEO of Key Production)

Laura Lewis-Paul (Founder & CEO of Saffron Music)

Peter Adarkwah (Label Owner of BBE Music)


Best Independent Label

Domino Recording Company

Ninja Tune

Partisan Records

Rough Trade

Soundway Records


Best Boutique Label

Chess Club

Edition Records

Finesse Foreva

Local Action

Rough Bones


PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist

Arlo Parks (Transgressive Records)

D.O.D (Axtone Records)

KC Lights (Toolroom Productions)

Rathbone Place (Good Company Records)

Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company)


Best Creative Campaign

Fontaines D.C. – ‘Skinty Fia’ (Partisan Records)

Maylee Todd – ‘Maloo’ (Stones Throw Records)

Mitski – ‘Laurel Hell’ (Dead Oceans)

Obongjayar – ‘Some Nights I Dream of Doors’ (September Recordings)

Radiohead – ‘KID A MNESIA’ (XL Recordings)


Previously announced nominees


UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music

Children of Zeus (First Word Records)

Knucks (No Days Off)

Nova Twins (Marshall Records)

Warmduscher (Bella Union)

Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company)


International Breakthrough in association with Deezer

Amyl & the Sniffers (Rough Trade)

Blxst (Red Bull Records)

Kokoroko (Brownswood Recordings)

Mdou Moctar (Matador Records)

Mitski (Dead Oceans)


Best Independent Track in association with Meta

Anz – ‘You Could Be’ (ft. George Riley) (Ninja Tune)

Dave – ‘Starlight’ (Neighbourhood Recordings)

FKA twigs – ‘tears in the club’ ft. the weeknd (Young Recordings)

Jeshi – ‘Protein’ feat. Obongjayar (Because Music)

Knucks, SL – ‘Nice & Good’ (No Days Off)

Nova Twins – ‘Antagonist’ (Marshall Records)

Overmono – ‘So U Kno’ (XL Recordings)

Wet Leg – ‘Chaise Longue’ (Domino Recording Company)

Wu-Lu – ‘Broken Homes’ (Warp Records)

Yves Tumor – ‘Jackie’ (Warp Records)


Best Independent EP/Mixtape

FKA twigs – ‘CAPRISONGS’ (Young Recordings)

Joy Orbison – ‘still slipping vol.1’ (XL Recordings)

Surya Sen – ‘At What Cost?’ (Skint Records)

TAAHLIAH – ‘Angelica’ (untitled (recs))



Best Independent Album in association with Spotify

Boj – ‘Gbagada Express’ (Moves Recordings)

Children Of Zeus – ‘Balance’ (First Word Records)

Cleo Sol  – ‘Mother’ (Forever Living Originals)

Dave – ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’

Dave Okumu – ‘Knopperz’ (Neighbourhood Recordings)

Emma-Jean Thackray – ‘Yellow’ (Movementt)

Mustafa – ‘When Smoke Rises’ (Young)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Painless’ (ATO Records)

SAULT – ‘NINE’ (Forever Living Originals)

Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’ (Lucky Number)


Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC6 Music

Black Country, New Road  – ‘Ants From Up There’ (Ninja Tune)

Jana Rush – ‘Painful Enlightenment’ (Planet Mu Records)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Painless’ (ATO Records)

Ross From Friends – ‘Tread’ (Brainfeeder)

Tirzah – ‘Colourgrade’ (Domino Recording Company)


Best Independent Remix

ATO – ‘no caroline remix’ (FLOHIO) (MCMXCV)

Erike de Casier – ‘Polite (Mura Masa Remix)’ (4AD)

Ibeyi – ‘Lavender & Red Roses ft. Jorja Smith (Champion Remix)’ (XL Recordings)

MF DOOM – ‘Gazzillion Ear (Thom Yorke Man on Fire Remix)’ (Lex Records)

Shygirl – ‘BDE (Kaydy Cain Remix)’ (Because Music)


One To Watch in association with BBC Introducing

Barry Can’t Swim (Technicolour / Ninja Tune)

Jeshi (Because Music)

Léa Sen (Partisan Records)

Nia Archives (HIJINXX)

TAAHLIAH (untitled (recs))


For more information on purchasing tables to attend the Awards ceremony, email

For press enquiries and media wishing to attend, please contact:

About AIM

AIM is the not-for-profit organisation representing and supporting the UK’s independent music community, which makes up over a quarter of the UK’s recorded music market. Now in its 22nd year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to DIY or self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music – including 4AD, Black Acre, CTRL Music, Dirty Hit, Domino Recording Co, Hospital Records, Killing Moon Group, FAMM, Ninja Tune, Numbers, Transgressive, Secretly Canadian, Supernature, Warp, and XL Recordings.


AIM exists to level the playing field for UK independent music businesses – the beating heart of music. No matter their genre, their background, how much money they have, how they identify or their age, AIM provides access to the knowledge and contacts creative entrepreneurs need to create, build and win. AIM supports its members, not only through the difficult times, but also on a day-to-day level with practical support that makes a real difference to their lives and work, helping them take their businesses to the next level.