Category Criteria

UK Independent Breakthrough

In Association With YouTube Music

Recognising independent artists who have made waves in the UK over the last year. The artist must be signed to a UK/ROI based independent label or be a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Recognising independent artists who have made a significant impact internationally over the last year. The artist must be signed to a UK/ROI based independent label or be a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Best Independent Track

In Association With Meta

Recognising the best independent tracks of the past year. The track must have been released by a UK/ROI based independent label or be self-released by an artist based in the UK/ROI. The track must have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Recognising the best independent remix of the past year. This award goes to both the Remixer and the label or individual that released the remix. The track must have been released by a UK/ROI based independent label or by a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The track must have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Recognising the best independent EP/mixtape of the past year. The EP/mixtape must be by an artist signed to a UK/ROI based independent label or be self-released by an artist based in the UK/ROI. The EP/mixtape must have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Best Independent Album

In Association With Spotify

Recognising the best independent album of the past year. The album must be by an artist signed to a UK/ROI based independent label or by a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The album must also have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Best [Difficult] Second Album

In Association With BBC Radio 6 Music

Recognising that following up on a great first album can be difficult, with less unreleased material in the bag and often a short time between initial and second album! This category rewards the best follow-up albums of the past year. The album must be by an artist signed to an UK/ROI based independent label or by a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The album must also have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our panel of expert judges.

Recognising the best independent music video of the past year. The video must be for a track released by an UK/ROI based independent label or by a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The video must have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our specialist video jury.

Celebrating the creativity that compliments and amplifies the spirit of the music, contributing to an enhanced experience for the fans. Campaigns may include physical and/or digital release, artist appearances or new ways of connecting the music with fans. This award goes to the label or self-releasing artist who has handled the campaign themselves. The release must have been between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022. Final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

Recognising the best live performer in independent music over the past year. Performance(s) can include live streamed and in-person events. The artist must either be signed to a UK/ROI based independent record label or be a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. All entries for this category will be entered in an online poll where a public vote will decide the nominees and winners.

One To Watch

In Association With BBC Music Introducing

Recognising an emerging artist in the independent music community who is expected to create waves in the next year. The artist must either be signed to a UK/ROI based independent record label or be a self-releasing artist based in the UK/ROI. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by our judging panel of music experts.

Shining a light on an individual (or individuals) within the independent community who has been the driving force in founding or building a business while displaying considerable innovation and success working with independent music. Nominations can be for individuals at any stage of their career and entries must demonstrate the following throughout their entrepreneurial career with particular reference to the last 12 months. The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

Do you know someone who's been a risk taker, an early adopter, who’s put it all on the line to achieve a vision that perhaps only they can see? Tell us about them here! The form takes less than two minutes - we just need name and contact info. We’ll then get in touch with them directly. They can also nominate themselves at aimawards.co.uk

Criteria:

Entrepreneurship: Founder or leader of a business or business division, the driving force behind success through a pioneering approach, demonstrating business acumen, dynamism, innovation, audacity, tenacity.

Success: Identifying or developing a new market/audience or generating considerable new value in existing markets through innovation along with evidence of substantial impact on that market.

Vision: Evidence of understanding and capitalising on opportunities, taking risks, or overcoming significant challenges to create success.

Nominations should include case studies/examples of this person’s entrepreneurship and success, and testimonials from their colleagues and/or clients in support of the nomination.

Recognising music businesses who prove that you don’t have to be big to win big! The business must be UK/ROI based and must have an annual turnover of less than £250,000 and/or fewer than three full-time members of label staff worldwide. The final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

Best Independent Label

Recognising excellence in the independent music business community. This can be a UK/ROI based record label of any size or scale who has shown exceptional success or innovation over the past year. The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

No submissions

Shining a light on individuals or businesses who have demonstrated unwavering and exceptional support for the independent community over the past year. Previous recipients have been DJs, journalists, promoters, community organisers, campaigners, business leaders, and more! The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

Do you know someone who's been there for independent music and community? Tell them to nominate themselves as ‘Independent Champion' at aimawards.co.uk or tell us about them here! The form takes less than two minutes - we just need name and contact info. We’ll then get in touch with them directly.

This category gives the independent music community an opportunity to shine a light on an individual in music who have used their position or platform to achieve something truly impactful in the cause of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Our Diversity Champion could be an artist, a business leader or anyone else who has done recent great work, or has been working on it over many years. Their passion and drive to level the playing field in music or wider society should be embedded into their work and business, rather than it being something they are directly employed to do. The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board and AIM’s equity, diversity and inclusion advisors.

Do you know someone who has shown innovation and courage and done incredible things to drive the cause? Tell them to nominate themselves as 'Diversity Champion' at aimawards.co.uk or tell us about them here! The form takes less than two minutes - we just need name and contact info. We’ll then get in touch with them directly.
Guidance:

· ‘Diversity’ can vary depending on field of work, geographical location and other factors
· Work around any of the nine protected characteristics (as recognised under the Equality Act) as well as other barriers to success such as socio-economic or regional factors, etc. will be taken into consideration
· As work in this area can take a long time to see results, we will consider early-stage impacts that look promising in creating lasting changes.

Innovator Award

In Association With Amazon Music

Highlighting an individual, collective or business within the independent music community who has been innovative or pioneering over the past year. The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

No submissions

Outstanding Contribution To Music

In Association With Merlin

Recognising an individual, collective or business within the independent music community who has made an outstanding contribution to music over the past year. The winner of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

No submissions

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist

In Association With PPL

Qualifying artists must be independent (not on a major or major subsidiary - as per the OCC’s definition of independent) and must not have released a studio album prior to 1st January 2020. The winner and nominees are decided through PPL UK Broadcast usage data (from 1st May 2020 to 31 April 2021) and statistics from the Official Charts Company (OCC).

No submissions

Local Hero Award

In Association With BBC Introducing

Recognising individuals, artists or companies who have demonstrated unwavering support for their local community. Nominated by BBC Introducing presenters throughout the regional territories, these winners have brought people closer together at a time of isolation, using their voice(s) to make lasting change, provide support, expertise or funds.