The virtual ceremony will stream at 6:30 pm ET exclusively on A2IM’s YouTube channel. The online show will feature performances by Japanese Breakfast, who is this year’s leading Libera Awards nominee with seven nods; Howard, who is nominated in two categories at this year’s event; Isbell, up for three awards including best Americana record and record of the year; ambient pop artist Helado Negro, who is coming off of an international tour to support his seventh studio album, Far In; and R&B artist Cautious Clay, who released his first full-length studio album, Deadpan Love, last year.
Japanese Breakfast, the solo musical project of musician Michelle Zauner, was the musical guest on the season finale of NBC’s Saturday Night Live over the weekend. She was nominated in two categories at the 64th annual Grammy Awards: best new artist and best alternative music album for Jubilee. Zauner is currently working on the film adaptation of her 2021 memoir, Crying in H Mart.
The largest independent music awards show, this year’s event is two-fold: an in-person, ticketed gala focused on industry and advocacy awards held at Webster Hall in New York City, and a separate, free-to-watch stream of consumer-facing awards and performances from top artists in the independent space.
The live event will honor DJ, producer and rapper Madlib with the Independent Icon Award. Madlib began his career in the early ’90s when he joined Lootpack alongside DJ Romes and Wildchild. The trio eventually parted ways to work on solo projects, resulting in collaborations such as Madlib’s 2003 album Champion Sound, created with J Dilla; the 2004 album Madvillainy, recorded alongside MC MF Doom; and several singles and LPs with rapper Freddie Gibbs. Madlib has also released projects under such alter egos as Quasimoto, Beat Konducta and Yesterdays New Quintet. Earlier this year, it was announced that he will produce No Fear of Time, the reunion album of hip-hop duo Black Star.
Among the artists slated to perform live at the gala: Sammy Rae & The Friends, a seven-piece funk-infused rock ‘n’ roll band led by singer-songwriter Samantha Bowers; folk artist Tré Burt, who has been touring in support of his latest album, You, Yeah, You; and Brooklyn-based pop R&B singer-songwriter Adrian Daniel, who has received critical acclaim from Vibe and NPR, and recently released his latest EP Crimson.
Madlib will also DJ the Libera Awards afterparty at the Ritz Lounge. The event takes place at Webster Hall in New York City from 6 to 11 p.m. ET.
The in-person gala will feature live, industry-insider award presentations, including label of the year (small, medium, large), A2IM humanitarian, and more. Two new honors focused on A2IM’s advocacy on Capitol Hill will be presented: the Congressional Independent Music Guardian award will honor Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA), and the Excellence in Advocacy Award will honor legendary singer and activist Dionne Warwick.
The IMPALA Sustainability Task Force will receive the inaugural Innovation in Sustainability Award. In line with A2IM’s sustainability initiatives, the Libera Awards is encouraging the selection of a plant-based meal, and all awardees will receive custom-designed trophies that have been locally manufactured and crafted with 100% recycled material.
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) sponsors the Libera Awards. This year’s Libera Awards are presented by Merlin and produced by Marauder.
A2IM is a not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that works to support the independent recorded music sector. Membership includes nearly 700 independently-owned American music labels.
Each year, the Libera Awards serve as the culmination of A2IM’s Indie Week, an international conference that brings together leaders from the independent music world for four days of keynotes, workshops, and panels. This year’s Indie Week will take place June 13-16. To learn more, visit https://a2im.org/indieweek.
To RSVP for the live stream, visit liberaawards.com/live.
Follow @liberaawards on Twitter and Instagram or visit https://liberaawards.com/2022-info.