The 2020 Artist & Manager Awards is to be reimagined as a one-off documentary film, the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) have announced.
Produced by director Raja Virdi of Phase Films, the film will premiere on YouTube on Thursday, January 28 and present interviews with winners from five categories. These will explore themes of creativity, resilience, adaptability and entrepreneurialism, while documenting the relationships between artists and their managers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Skunk Anansie singer Skin and the band’s long-term manager Leigh Johnson of LJM are the first winners to be confirmed. The duo will pick up the PPL-sponsored Pioneer Award in recognition of their 25-year partnership.
David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition, said: “The Artist & Manager Awards is the FAC and MMF’s opportunity to salute excellence and innovation in our communities and to bring the industry together in celebration. For obvious reasons, we can’t do that physically right now, but arguably there’s more reason than ever to document the experiences of artists and managers in what’s been such a challenging and demanding year. We felt that a film was the best way to capture this, and we're truly honoured that Skin and Leigh have jointly accepted our Pioneer Awards. We look forward to revealing other winners in early 2021, before our premiere on January 28.”
The pandemic has been traumatic, devastating and life-altering, but it has also brought home the value and importance of music
Annabella Coldrick, MMF
MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick said: “The pandemic has been traumatic, devastating and life-altering, but it has also brought home the value and importance of music. The aim with this film is to explore the relationships and the resilience behind that music, and to celebrate these stories through five award categories.The MMF and FAC would like to congratulate Skin and Leigh for their much-deserved Pioneer Awards, and also thank our director Raja Virdi, and our sponsors at PPL, Songtrust, Spotify and YouTube Music for making this project possible.”
Award winners in the four other categories - Leading Artist and Manager Awards (sponsored by YouTube Music); Breakthrough Artist and Manager Awards (sponsored by Spotify); Entrepreneur Award (sponsored by Songtrust) and Innovation Award - were decided by an initial nominations committee panel held online and will be announced early next year.
PPL CEO Peter Leathem said: “As we approach the end of a challenging year and look positively towards 2021, it is great to celebrate and champion the contributions of and talent within the artist and manager community. Congratulations to Skin and Leigh on their much-deserved recognition as pioneers in music. Such a longstanding relationship over the course of 25 years can only inspire and encourage future generations and PPL is delighted to be supporting the MMF and FAC on this film project which will share the duo’s experiences with the wider world.”
The event will mark the ninth edition of the Artist & Manager Awards. Winners in 2019 included Nile Rodgers, Rebecca Boulton & Andy Robinson, Team #Merky, Debbie Gwyther, Lewis Capaldi, Neneh Cherry, Aitch, , Sophie Bloggs, Andy Varley, Sandy Dworniak, and Sam Fender and Owain Davies.