Emerging independent stars Wet Leg, Nova Twins and Cleo Sol were among the winners at the AIM Awards 2022, while Rough Trade and PIAS were also honoured.
Wet Leg, who hit No.1 with their self-titled debut album earlier this year, won in the Best Independent Breakthrough category, while Nova Twins won Best Independent Track for Antagonist, taken from Supernova, their debut album for Marshall Records.
Cleo Sol won Best Independent Album for Mother, seeing off competition from Dave, Emma-Jean Thackray and Nilüfer Yanya, whose record Painless triumphed in the Best [Difficult] Second Album category.
Delivering his final AIM Awards address as CEO, the outgoing Paul Pacifico paid tribute to his predecessor Alison Wenham and the whole indie sector.
“You all know this is my sixth and last AIM Awards as CEO, he said. “In some ways it feels like a lifetime. In other ways it feels like only yesterday that Alison Wenham asked me to take on the incredible privilege of leading AIM and representing the dynamic, diverse and powerful independent music community in the UK. And it was a great pleasure to be able to invite Alison tonight – welcome – and thank you for all you have done for me. I have been grateful for all of your help and just the knowledge that throughout my journey here at AIM, you have always supported me and had my back.”
There is much more that unites us than divides us in music
Paul Pacifico, AIM
Pacifico also used his speech as a call for better collaboration across the sector.
“I am mindful that whatever our disagreements, there is much more that unites us than divides us in music, whichever stakeholder group or industry body we represent,” he said. “If we are to benefit from a strong sector that can support the increasing numbers of creators and entrepreneurs and provide platforms for social mobility and empowerment to diverse and under-represented voices, we have to work together better.
As revealed prior to the ceremony, Stormzy was named Diversity Champion and recent Music Week cover star Rina Sawayama won the Innovator Award.
"I encourage everyone in the room today to not just use diversity as a buzzword," said Stormzy in his video acceptance speech. "Whatever position you're in... let that be a driving factor, and not just see it as a quota or a box to tick."
Lethal Bizzle and The Libertines were honoured with Outstanding Contribution to Music and Special Recognition awards respectively, while both acts performed after the ceremony.
Rough Trade Records emerged victorious from a shortlist including Ninja Tune, Partisan and more to win Best Independent Label, while Local Action was named Best Boutique Label. The Independent Champion award went to
Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot of PIAS, as CEO & Founder of Defenders Ent. Corey Johnson was crowned Music Entrepreneur Of The Year
You can see the full list of winners below.
Best Independent Album in association with Spotify
Cleo Sol - Mother (Forever Living Originals)
Best Independent Track in association with Meta
Nova Twins - Antagonist (Marshall Records)
UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music
Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company)
International Breakthrough in association with Deezer
Blxst (Red Bull Records)
Best Live Performer
Mitski (Dead Oceans)
Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC 6 Music
Nilüfer Yanya - Painless (ATO Records)
Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music
Outstanding Contribution to Music in association with Merlin
The Libertines (Rough Trade)
Best Independent EP/Mixtape
TAAHLIAH - Angelica (untitled (recs))
Best Independent Remix
Champion remix of Ibeyi - Lavender & Red Roses ft. Jorja Smith (XL Recordings)
One To Watch in association with BBC Introducing
Nia Archives (HIJINXX)
Best Independent Video in association with VEVO
Jeshi - 3210 (Because Music)
PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist
D.O.D (Axtone Records)
Best Creative Campaign in association with Able
Maylee Todd - Maloo campaign from Stones Throw Records
Best Independent Label
Rough Trade Records
Best Boutique Label
Independent Champion in association with MCPS
Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot of [PIAS]
Music Entrepreneur Of The Year
Corey Johnson - CEO & Founder of Defenders Ent.