Ahead of the Awards on Tuesday 26th September, we’re beyond excited to announce the winner for Best Live Performer, as voted for by the public! Visionary innovator Björk fought off fierce competition from Beabadoobee, MUNA and Reverend and the Makers. In the eleventh hour she surpassed Japan’s kawaii-metal girl band BABYMETAL to clinch the award for Best Live Performer. Her famed Cornucopia tour, set to conclude this year, has been a career-defining triumph for the Icelandic artist and songwriter.
Huge congratulations to Dr Charisse Beaumont, CEO of Black Lives in Music (BLiM), who has been named Diversity Champion in recognition of her groundbreaking work at the forefront of creating an inclusive music industry, such as the rollout of BLiM’s voluntary Music Industry Anti-Racism Code. Beaumont has recently been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of West London (alongside BLiM co-founder Roger Wilson), for her continued efforts to achieve equality for Black musicians and professionals.
Returning for 2023, the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist sees a competitive shortlist featuring the flag-bearer of new British rap AntsLive, infectiously energetic DJ John Summit, playful hip-hop and house pioneer Surya Sen, Top 40 drum & bass producer Vibe Chemistry and rapidly-ascending viral duo Wet Leg.
Adding to the excitement, the competition runs hot for nominees in the ‘Best Independent Label’ category which gives nods to UK house music powerhouse Defected Records, Forever Living Originals – the home of SAULT and Cleo Sol – world-leading drum & bass label Hospital Records, One Little Independent whose artists include Björk and Laura Misch, and Transgressive, who count Loyle Carner, Arlo Parks and Flume on their roster.
‘Best Boutique Label’ nominees this year include Chess Club Records, who are home to one of the UK’s most exciting rosters of emerging talent, plus the famed house music label Glasgow Underground, and Houndstooth, home of SCALPING and Call Super, Rough Bones, with recent big-hitter releases from Kehli and Kid Eternal, and So Young Records, who represent genre defying Lime Garden, complete the list of nominees.
‘Best Creative Campaign’ is awarded to labels whose teams have executed outstanding album campaigns, using inventive new means to bring an enhanced experience for fans. Ezra Collective’s ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ (Partisan Records), RAYE’s ‘My 21st Century Blues’ (Human Re Sources), Rina Sawayama’s Hold The Girl’ (Dirty Hit), Shygirl’s ‘Nymph’ (Because Music), Yaeji’s ‘With A Hammer’ (XL Recordings) and Young Father’s ‘Heavy Heavy’ (Ninja Tune) are all in the running.
‘Music Entrepreneur of the Year’ shines a light on an individual within the independent community who has shown considerable innovation and success. This years’ shortlist includes founder of HQ Familia record label and studio Yasin El-Ashrafi, Young founder & label head Caius Pawson, founder and CEO of creative solutions company Forward Slash Ketura Cummings, Director at Good Energy PR Jess Kangalee, and founder of music marketing app Un:hurd, Alex Brees.
“The AIM Independent Music Awards are a night to celebrate the best of the UK’s independent music community, and to showcase its triumphs and innovations. We are proud to be able to honour the diversity and talent across the UK ‘s independent labels, artists, entrepreneurs and champions and it’s fantastic to see continued public recognition of Björk’s trailblazing live shows!”
Silvia Montello – AIM, CEO
Thank you to everyone who sent in their submissions for this year’s AIM Independent Music Awards. It’s been amazing to see the thriving musical talent of the independent sector. As much as we would love to see everyone nominated, there can only be a limited number of nominees each year, not everyone can make the shortlist. We encourage all artists, labels, and distributors to submit again next year and you can sign up to our AIM Awards mailing list here to be the first to hear when submissions open for 2024.
Charisse Beaumont – Black Lives in Music
Best Live Performer
Winner – Björk (One Little Independent)
BABYMETAL (Cooking Vinyl)
Beebadoobee (Dirty Hit)
MUNA (Saddest Factory Records / Dead Oceans)
Reverend and the Makers (Distiller Records)]
PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist
AntsLive (Payday Records, Trademark Records)
John Summit (Off The Grid Records)
Surya Sen (Skint Records)
Vibe Chemistry (DnB Allstars Records)
Wet Leg (Domino Records)
Music Entrepreneur of the Year
Alex Brees – Un:hurd
Caius Pawson – Young / Space
Jess Kangalee – Good Energy PR
Keturah Cummings – Forward Slash
Yasin El Ashrafi – HQ Familia
Best Boutique Label
So Young Records
Best Independent Label
Forever Living Originals
One Little Independent
Best Creative Campaign
Ezra Collective – ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ (Partisan Records)
RAYE – ‘My 21st Century Blues’ (Human Re Sources)
Rina Sawayama – ‘Hold The Girl’ (Dirty Hit)
Shygirl – ‘Nymph’ (Because Music)
Yaeji – ‘With A Hammer’ (XL Recordings)
Young Fathers – ‘Heavy Heavy’ (Ninja Tune)