Britain's Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) has been made an Affiliate Member of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), making it the first time that gospel music has been recognised within the music industry in this way.
The addition represents a landmark move for the professionals and organisations involved with the genre.
GMIA executive and co-founder Juliet Fletcher said: “This is the very reason why AIM is a great step forward for us.
“The gospel music industry here is filled with independent creatives – from artists to label-owners and other skilled personnel. We believe that this affiliation will provide an unprecedented opportunity for development of our industry."
James Farrelly, membership manager for AIM commented: “The independent music community continues to be the side of the music industry which dares to innovate, create and work together to develop an environment in which great music will thrive. As such, it is vital that AIM aligns itself with organisations who are working with genre specific labels and artists, such as GMIA.
“Rarely has the Gospel music scene been given a representative voice, and in GMIA the UK Gospel community will finally have a centralised and unified voice. AIM is proud to welcome GMIA as an affiliate member – a relationship we’re certain will allow the Gospel community to develop and grow.”
The Gospel Music Industry Alliance was launched last year with the vision to inform, resource, promote and unite those actively involved within the sector.
Muyiwa became the first UK Gospel artists to sell out at the Hammersmith Apollo. Labelled ‘Urban Gospel’ artists like Jahaziel, GuvnaB and Victizzle have become the new face of Gospel with recognition via UMA and MOBO wins.
In addition to this, the UK and US scene (worth over half a billion annually) are growing closer. Last year (independent record label) Zoe Gospel’s artists Lola Godheld won UK Gospel’s first major music awards at the US Dove’s (the Chrstian/Gospel equivalent of the Grammy’s).
AIM is a trade body established in 1999 to provide a collective voice for the UK's independent music industry. It represents over 800 member companies, from the largest global to small start-ups and individual artists releasing their own music for the first time.