AJ Tracey, Sarathy Korwar, Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Moses Boyd and Arlo Parks were among the big prize winners at the AIM Independent Music Awards' first ever virtual ceremony.
The 10th annual event saw Korwar take Best Independent Album for his second studio album, More Arriving, producer Flying Lotus claim Best Independent Track for his Anderson Paak collaboration More and FKA Twigs awarded Best [Difficult] Second Album for Magdalene.
Music Week cover stars Boyd and Parks (pictured) took home UK Independent Breakthrough and One To Watch, respectively, while Korean-American electronic artist Yaeji received International Breakthrough and Freya Ridings bagged the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist.
Little Simz and AJ Tracey gave live performances in a state-of-the-art extended reality studio after picking up the Pioneer Award and Innovator Award, respectively. The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 1/1Xtra DJ Tiffany Calver.
The independent community has risen to the challenge of Covid
Paul Pacifico, AIM
In his opening speech, AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: "It has without doubt been an incredibly challenging year for everyone and at this year at AIM’s Independent Music Awards, we get the chance to really celebrate the community’s resilience, creativity and innovation that saw independent music continue to break boundaries and push the envelope in spite of all the restrictions around us.
"The independent community has risen to the challenge of Covid and the sense of collaboration and mutual support that has helped us in these difficult times is a real reminder of the importance of the human connections within our businesses as well as our personal lives."
After being named Indie Champion, IMPALA's Helen Smith said: “I can think of many many people who should get this Indie Champion award, across the European sector. And on the IMPALA board where a lot of decisions are taken that I think quite a few people would have described as a bit crazy. But maybe that’s why we’re getting this award today, because sometimes you just have to do crazy things. And like a champion you have to run like hell, don’t look around, and hold on.”
The event included a tribute performance to legendary drummer Tony Allen from Damon Albarn and Allen’s long-time friends and collaborators Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso, Gorillaz’ Seye Adelekan and Remi Kabaka Jr, along with Allen’s The Good, The Bad & The Queen bandmate Simon Tong.
In a further tribute, Koleoso curated a special medley featuring UK jazz scene’s leading lights Nubya Garcia, Mutale Chashi, Tobi Adenaike, Elias Atkinson, Richie Seivwright, Deschanel Gordon, Junior Alli, alongside Koleoso. Allen’s brother Ignatius Allen picked up the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award in association with Merlin on behalf of Allen who received the award posthumously.
Alongside a surprise performance and the world-first live performance of their new track Nerves Of Steel, Erasure’s Vince Clarke was named as the first recipient of the Special Recognition Award for his work as part of Erasure, Depeche Mode and Yazoo, having worked closely with legendary indie label Mute for more than 40 years.
The full list of AIM Independent Music Awards winners is as follows:
UK INDEPENDENT BREAKTHROUGH IN ASSOCIATION WITH YOUTUBE MUSIC
BEST CREATIVE PACKAGING IN ASSOCIATION WITH SIGNATURE BREW
DIGGA D – DOUBLE TAP DIARIES
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH FUGA
INDIE CHAMPION IN ASSOCIATION WITH MCPS
BEST SMALL LABEL IN ASSOCIATION WITH KEY PRODUCTION
BEST INDEPENDENT REMIX IN ASSOCIATION WITH DESIGNSCENE
LAFAWNDAH – TOURIST X NÍDIA REWORK
ONE TO WATCH IN ASSOCIATION WITH BBC MUSIC INTRODUCING
ARLO PARKS (WINNER)
BEST INDEPENDENT VIDEO IN ASSOCIATION WITH VEVO
THE HOWL & THE HUM – THE ONLY BOY RACER LEFT ON THE ISLAND
INNOVATOR AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH AMAZON MUSIC
BEST [DIFFICULT] SECOND ALBUM IN ASSOCIATION WITH PROPER MUSIC
FKA TWIGS – MAGDALENE
INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH IN ASSOCIATION WITH DEEZER
PIONEER AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH EVOKE STUDIOS
PPL AWARD FOR MOST PLAYED NEW INDEPENDENT ARTIST
BEST INDEPENDENT ALBUM IN ASSOCIATION WITH SPOTIFY
SARATHY KORWAR – MORE ARRIVING
BEST LIVE ACT IN ASSOCIATION WITH CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
BEST INDEPENDENT TRACK IN ASSOCIATION WITH FACEBOOK
FLYING LOTUS – MORE (FT. ANDERSON .PAAK)
BEST INDEPENDENT LABEL IN ASSOCIATION WITH PIAS
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC IN ASSOCIATION WITH MERLIN
PHOTO: Anthony Harvey