• Avelino wins Best Independent Album in association with Spotify – takes to stage for 50 years of Hip Hop celebration supported by BBC 1Xtra

  • RAYE and 070 Shakewin Best Track in association with Meta, Shygirl wins UK Independent Breakthrough

  • Other winners include Caius Pawson, Wesley Joseph & Partisan Records

  • Björk makes first in-person awards show appearance since 2012

  • Unforgettable performances from P Money & Whiney, 'One to Watch' Laughta and Cassie

AIM celebrated an electrifying evening at this year's Independent Music Awards, with success for Avelino with 'Best Independent Album', RAYE and 070 Shake for 'Best Independent Track' & Shygirl for 'UK Independent Breakthrough'.

In her first personal appearance at an awards show since the 2012 Webbys, Björk collected AIM's publicly-voted award for 'Best Live Performer'.

Collecting her award, Björk said, "I'm incredibly honoured and grateful to have been chosen by the fans as the best live performer. I have been singing at concerts since I was a child and the audience's presence merging with mine has given me many of the most rewarding moments of my life... Shout out to One Little Independent and shout out to independent labels. Come on, we got this!"

Winner of 'Best Independent Album' in association with Spotify, Avelino, whose British Rap debut album with undertone influences of grime, punk and drill, 'God Save The Streets' has already been lauded as a classic, joined the 50 years of Hip Hop celebration supported by BBC 1Xtra – a segment which also featured some effortlessly slick vinyl scratching and a visual storyboard of some of the Hip Hop greats from the USA to the UK.

Avelino said: "This is far deeper than thousands of sales, it's about thousands of lives at stake on the streets of London and up and down the UK... To all the children in the trenches and to all my brothers and sisters out there trying to get through this madness, I hope you realise that rock bottom is only the stepping stone onto bigger and better things. God bless everyone and God save the streets."

RAYE and 070 Shake also relished a victory as viral 'Escapism' (Human Re Sources) was crowned 'Best Independent Track' in association with Meta. Shygirl was awarded 'UK Independent Breakthrough', following widely praised debut 'Nymph' and a stream of sold out shows.

Speaking via video, RAYE said: ""Moments like this you work really hard for and I'm just sending all my gratitude. Congrats to all the other independent artists doing it. Being independent is definitely one of the hardest things but it's so creatively liberating too."

Best Creative Campaign, in association with Able, was won by Partisan Records for Ezra Collective's much-acclaimed 'Where I'm Meant to Be" campaign, with the newly-crowned Mercury Prize-winners collecting the trophy in person.

British-Lebanese rapper/producer Laughta, meanwhile, picked up the 'One to Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing' award, following a charismatic performance.

The 'PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist' was awarded to Domino Records' indie superstars Wet Leg. Rapper and songwriter ENNY took home the award for 'Best Independent EP / Mixtape' supported by BBC 1Xtra for the inimitable 'We Go Again' (FAMM).

Nu:Tone's remix of GLXY's - 'Butterfly Effect' (feat. Hugh Hardie & Visionobi) (Hospital Records) took the award for 'Best Independent Remix'. Artist & director Wesley Joseph also emerged victorious in the 'Best Independent Video' in association with Vevo category, for his self-directed 'MONSOON' (EEVILTWINN) video.

Hospital Records were crowned 2023's 'Best Independent Label', celebrating almost three decades leading the charge for drum and bass, boasting an impressive roster including London Elektricity, Nu:Tone, Flava D and P Money & Whiney.

Fighting off competition for 'Best Boutique Label' were Rough Bones, whose commitment to creative freedom for their carefully selected roster earned them the top spot. Also, Speedy Wunderground's Dan Carey appeared to collect the 'Innovator Award' in association with Amazon Music.

'Music Entrepreneur of the Year' was awarded to Caius Pawson, founder of Young, whose industry prowess supported the careers of The xx, FKA twigs and Sampha. Brighton-based record store Resident Music collected the award for 'Independent Champion' in association with Downtown.

Erol Alkan took to the stage to accept 'Outstanding Contribution to Music' in association with Merlin on behalf of Soulwax – with brothers David and Stephen Dewaele appearing by video. The duo, whose credits also include 2manydjs, sound system Despacio and label DEEWEE said, "we would like to thank AIM and everyone that we have ever worked with for this amazing award."

The ceremony also featured a hotly anticipated performance by P Money & Whiney, as the duo delivered their powerful blend of grime & drum and bass. Explorative-indie outfit Cassia then drew the ceremony to a close with their signature brand of genre-defying musical vibrancy. 

Said AIM CEO Silvia Montello "The AIM Awards are always about more than celebrating the nominees, winners and attendees in the room; they celebrate everyone across our varied and diverse rights-holder community throughout the regions and nations. From the founders and long-established labels who've defined our sector right through to those forming the future independents. From the entrepreneurs driving new creative businesses to the artists carving out their independent journey. AIM celebrates the legends, visionaries, innovators, and all the creative talent who continue to keep our UK's vibrant independent music community the envy of the world."

Thanks to AIM's category partners – Able, Amazon Music, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Music Introducing, Deezer, Downtown, Merlin, Meta, PPL, Spotify and VEVO – for supporting this year's Independent Music Awards. Thanks also to Gold Partners, FUGA and NOTION and to the drinks sponsors, Kylie Minogue Wines, Kraken Rum and Two Tribes Brewery.

Nominees & Winners:

Best Independent Album in association with Spotify
Avelino - God Save The Streets (More Music Records/ OddChild Music) WINNER
Kelela - Raven (Warp Records)
Little Simz - No Thank You (Forever Living Originals)
Nova Twins - Supernova (Marshall Records)
Obongjayar - Some Nights I Dream of Doors (September Recordings)
Oliver Sim - Hideous Bastard (Young)
RAYE - My 21st Century Blues (Human Re Sources)
Rina Sawayama - Hold The Girl (Dirty Hit)
Shygirl - Nymph (Because Music)
Wu-Lu - LOGGERHEAD (Warp Records)

Best Independent Track in association with Meta
Connie Constance - ‘Hurt You’ (Play It Again Sam)
ENNY - Charge It (FAMM)
Four Tet - ‘Three Drums’ (Text Records)
Makaya McCraven - ‘Dream Another’ (XL Recordings)
Overmono - ‘Good Lies’ (XL Recordings)
RAYE, 070 Shake - ‘Escapism’ (Human Re Sources) WINNER
Shygirl - ‘Shlut’ (Because Music)
Sudan Archives - ‘Selfish Soul’ (Stones Throw Records)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - ‘Spitting Off The Edge of The World’ feat. Perfume Genius (Secretly Canadian)
Yves Tumor - ‘Echolalia’ (Warp Records)

UK Independent Breakthrough
Ezra Collective (Partisan Records)
I.Jordan (Ninja Tune)
Overmono (XL Recordings)
Shygirl (Because Music) WINNER
Suki Waterhouse (Sub Pop)

Best Live Performer
Björk: (One Little Independent) WINNER

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist
AntsLive (Payday Records, Trademark Records)
John Summit (Off The Grid Records)
Surya Sen (Skint Records)
Vibe Chemistry (DnB Allstars Records)
Wet Leg (Domino Records) WINNER

Best Independent EP/ Mixtape in association with BBC 1Xtra
Bellah - ‘Adultsville’ (Base ‘N’ Rebulz X Marathon Music Group)
ENNY - ‘We Go Again’ (FAMM) WINNER
Jessica Winter - ‘Limerance’ (Lucky Number)
Saint Joshua - ‘EP2’ (Ditto Music)
yunè pinku - ‘BABYLON IX’ (PLATOON)

One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing
Jessica Winter (Lucky Number)
Juice Menace (Supernature)
Master Peace (PMR)

Best Creative Campaign in association with Able
Because Music (Shygirl - ‘Nymph’)
Dirty Hit (Rina Sawayama - ‘Hold The Girl’)
Human Re Sources (RAYE - ‘My 21st Century Blues’)
Ninja Tune (Young Fathers - ‘Heavy Heavy’)
Partisan Records (Ezra Collective - ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’) WINNER
XL Recordings (Yaeji - ‘With A Hammer’)

Best Independent Remix
Sega Bodega Remix (One Little Independent) - Björk - ‘Ovuke (feat. Shygirl)’
Soulwax Remix (Deewee / Because Music) - Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul - ‘Cliche’
Nu:Tone Remix (Hospital Records) - GLXY - ‘Butterfly Effect (feat. Hugh Hardie & Visionobi)’ WINNER
Jamie XX remix (Young) - Oliver Sim - ‘GMT’
Boys Noize (Secretly Canadian) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - ‘Wolf’

Best Independent Video in association with Vevo
Ezra Collective - ‘No Confusion ft. Kojey Radical’ (Partisan Records)
Kelela - ‘Enough For Love’ (Warp Records)
Obongjayar - ‘I Wish It Was Me (Live)’ (September Recordings)
RAYE, 070 Shake - ‘Escapism.’ (Human Re Sources)

Outstanding Contribution to Music in association with Merlin
Stephen & David Dewaele - Soulwax / 2manydjs WINNER (Because Music / [PIAS])

Best Independent Label
Defected Records
Forever Living Originals
Hospital Records WINNER
One Little Independent

Best Boutique Label
Chess Club
Glasgow Underground
Rough Bones WINNER
So Young Records

Music Entrepreneur of the Year
Alex Brees - Un:hurd
Caius Pawson - Young / Space WINNER
Jess Kangalee - Good Energy PR
Keturah Cummings - Forward Slash
Yasin El Ashrafi - HQ Familia

Independent Champion in association with Downtown
Jaguar Bingham
Resident Music WINNER
Cafe OTO

Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music
Dan Carey WINNER

Diversity Champion
Charisse Beaumont - Black Lives in Music WINNER

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30 Nov 2023

  • Will AI be used to raise musicians from the dead? (see Features)

  • Spotify Wrapped 2023 is here (see Digital)

29 Nov 2023

  • Spotify Wrapped 2023: 'Music genres are now irrelevant to fans' (see Features)

  • Have labels hit a breaking point with data-driven A&R?  (see Features)

28 Nov 2023

  • Spotify Wrapped’s evil genius? It sells millennials an identity (see Features)

  • Calls for urgent EU solution to stop transfer of performance income out of Europe (see News)

  • Global initiative Credits Due unveils new toolkit (see News)

27 Nov 2023

  • When did music media lose its ability to break bands? (see Comment)

  • IFPI's global report examines how fans engage with music (see Reports)

24 Nov 2023

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  • BRIT Awards make changes to be more inclusive (see News)

23 Nov 2023

  • Executives explain how British hip-hop has exploded from the underground (see Features)

22 Nov 2023

  • Spotify reveals revamped royalties system (see Digital)

  • TikTok publishes Music Impact Report (see Reports)

21 Nov 2023

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20 Nov 2023

  • Industry addresses AI threats and opportunities (see News)

17 Nov 2023

  • Why is everyone mad at Spotify? (see Comment)

  • YouTube brings AI vocals to Shorts with ‘Dream Track’ (see Digital)