Electronic artist Flying Lotus, singer and songwriter FKA twigs, Anglo-Indian jazz drummer Sarathy Korwar and synth-pop master Vince Clarke were among the big winners as the indie community assembled Wednesday night (Aug. 12) for the 10th annual AIM Independent Music Awards, held virtually for the first time.
Flying Lotus snagged best independent track (for “More” featuring Anderson .Paak) and Korwar’s More Arriving took out best independent album.
“It feels like a true blessing to be able to receive an award and to be acknowledged in these times, when they make us feel like our work isn’t essential and what we do is just, whatever,” enthused Flying Lotus (real name Steven Ellison). “So, thank you for the reminder that what we do is very important.”
Also on the night, FKA twigs bagged best [difficult] second album for her critically-lauded Magdalene, which peaked at No. 21 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart last November, and Moses Boyd scored U.K. independent breakthrough honors.
One of the show-stealing moments came when Erasure reunited on stage for a premiere of their new single “Nerves of Steel,” a fitting moment as songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke collected the special recognition award, a new category. Clarke was feted for his work in Erasure, Yazoo and Hall of Famers Depeche Mode and “his exceptional contribution to the synth-pop field,” organizers say.
In the industry award categories, Helen Smith, executive chairman of independent music companies’ lobby organization IMPALA, was named as “Indie Champion,” and late drumming great Tony Allen was posthumously honored with the outstanding contribution to music award.
Allen’s career was celebrated by a performance featuring Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, and a separate tribute curated by Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso.
A pioneering afrobeat drummer, Allen died April 30 in Paris aged 79, leaving behind a considerable legacy.
The Nigerian artist was well known for his work with Fela Kuti and, later, with Albarn’s project The Good, The Bad & The Queen, French electronic duo Air and others.
At the time of his passing, Brian Eno praised Allen as “perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived,” while Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers declared him as “one of the greatest drummers to ever walk this earth.”
As part of the celebration of Allen’s life and work, Koleoso curated a special medley gathering the likes of U.K. jazz standouts Nubya Garcia, Mutale Chashi, Tobi Adenaike, Elias Atkinson, Richie Seivwright, Deschanel Gordon and Junior Alli.
Established in Britain back in 2011, the AIM Independent Music Awards celebrates the brightest, the best and the innovators of the independent music scene.
AIM Independent Music Awards Winners & Nominees:
UK Independent Breakthrough In Association With YouTube Music
Moses Boyd (Winner)
Best Creative Packaging In Association With Signature Brew
Digga D – Double Tap Diaries (Winner)
Hania Rani – ‘Esja’ Sheet Music Book
Motörhead – 1979
Sophie – Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides Non-Stop Remix Album
Moses Boyd – Dark Matter LP (Dinked Edition)
Special Recognition Award In Association With Fuga – Vince Clarke (Winner)
Indie Champion In Association With MCPS – Helen Smith (Winner)
Best Small Label In Association With Key Production
Speedy Wunderground (Winner)
Best Independent Remix In Association With Designscene
Lafawndah – Tourist X Nídia Rework (Winner)
King Of The Rollers – You Got Me (S.P.Y. Remix)
Makaya Mccraven – Gil Scott-Heron – We’re New Again
Apparat – Outlier (Solomun Remix)
Marie Davidson – Work It (Soulwax Remix)
One To Watch In Association With Bbc Music Introducing
Arlo Parks (Winner)
Best Independent Video In Association With Vevo
Black Pumas – Colors
Bombay Bicycle Club – Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)
Flying Lotus – Black Balloons Reprise (Ft. Denzel Curry)
Greentea Peng – Mr. Sun (Miss Da Sun)
The Howl & The Hum – The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island (Winner)
Zebra Katz – Moor
Innovator Award In Association With Amazon Music – AJ Tracey (Winner)
Best [Difficult] Second Album In Association With Proper Music
Floating Points – Crush
Fka twigs – Magdalene (Winner)
Joe Armon Jones – Turn To Clear View
Life – A Picture Of Good Health
Moses Sumney – Græ
International Breakthrough In Association With Deezer
Pioneer Award In Association With Evoke Studios – Little Simz (Winner)
PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Artist
Freya Ridings (Winner)
Best Independent Album In Association With Spotify
Brooke Bentham – Everyday Nothing
Everything Is Recorded – Friday Forever
Kidjo Ojua – The Mixtape
Kim Gordon – No Home Record
Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter
Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
The Ninth Wave – Infancy
Phoenix Da Icefire & Husky Brown – Panacea
Sarathy Korwar – More Arriving (Winner)
Best Live Act In Association With Creative Technology
Five Finger Death Punch (Winner)
Red Rum Club
Best Independent Track In Association With Facebook
AJ Tracey – Dinner Guest (Ft. Mostack)
Digga D – No Diet
Flying Lotus – More (Ft. Anderson .Paak) (Winner)
King Krule – Alone, Omen 3
Lauv – Modern Loneliness
Sorry – Right Round The Clock
Squid – Sludge
Sudan Archives – Confessions
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – We’ve Landed
Yves Tumor – Gospel For A New Century
Best Independent Label In Association With [PIAS]
Jazz Re:Refreshed (Winner)
Outstanding Contribution To Music In Association With Merlin – Tony Allen (Winner)