NEWS: Wet Leg, Nova Twins, Lethal Bizzle, Stormzy and Libertines Victorious At AIM Awards 2022  2

NEWS: Wet Leg, Nova Twins, Lethal Bizzle, Stormzy and Libertines Victorious At AIM Awards 2022 

After bringing down the curtain on explosive performances from The Libertines, Lethal Bizzle and Pixey at The Roundhouse in London, the AIM Independent Music Awards celebrated another epic year of the independent sector and the outstanding artists, labels and individuals at the forefront of its success. With a winners list of exciting fresh talent and trailblazing legends, 2022 is a year of triumph for those who have paved the way and those who are forging their own path.

The evening began with a star-studded red-carpet event where winner of the Outstanding Contribution award, Lethal Bizzle, told GIITTV, “It’s nice to get your flowers while you can still smell them. It’s good to get a nod at this stage in my career. This award celebrates my whole career for the first time …I hope that it can set the blueprint for future artists” On stage he continued with a message to young artists, “This music game is not designed to last for 20 years so I hope my journey inside music and outside music inspires you in some way so that in 20 years of your journey you can be further than I am right now” He continued, “I am only one of the components of the culture that I represent so I need to give a shout-out to my OGs, Skepta, Dizzy Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, So Solid Crew” and many more. On the red carpet Lethal Bizzle spoke of the huge influence that So Solid Crew’s ’21 Seconds to Go’ had on his creative spark, talking about the first time he had seen them on Top of the Pops before playing on the same show himself.

Fellow Ghanaian- Londoner and Grime Legend Stormzy was honoured as Diversity Champion for using his platform to level the playing field in the music industry and inspiring wider society through his charity #Merky Foundation and #Merky Books. Collecting his award via video link, Stormzy said: “I encourage everyone in the room today to not just use diversity as a buzzword. Whatever position you lot are in, whatever roles you might play, try to be a real driving factor for it and not just see it as a quota or a box to tick and really see the worth and value in being diverse. Thank you to the AIM Awards and to God be the glory.”

JESHI who was nominated for three awards, claimed the Best Independent Video in association with VEVO prize for the ambitious ‘3210’ He climbed on stage saying, “I’ve never won anything. I’m Gassed. Thank you! ” Speaking on the red carpet of his album ‘Universal Credit’ he told GIITTV, “It’s not easy writing about your own situation- no one on benefits is loving it …It’s good to use humour…people preach too hard. Talking of preaching big up Holy Family School’ he said pointing to Lethal Bizzle who attended the school in Walthamstow together with Fleur East. JESHI is an insightful social commentator and strongly deserving winner.

After rapidly rising up the ranks of the indie rock scene due to their killer choruses and label guidance, Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company) won the UK Independent Breakthrough category in association with YouTube Music, while Nova Twins (Marshall Records) scooped Best Independent Track in association with Meta for ‘Antagonist’ after a similar upward trajectory in 2022. Speaking of their win for UK Independent Breakthrough, Wet Leg said via videolink: “Thanks so much…….It’s been a really wild year for us and we just want to take this opportunity to thank our team and all the other members of our new-found family. As a great man once said, “To infinity and beyond!

Cleo Sol (Forever Living Originals) took home Best Independent Album in association with Spotify for the majestic ‘Mother’ and Nilüfer Yanya (ATO Records) proved the follow up record can be a pretty ‘Painless’ experience as she reigned supreme in the Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC 6 Music category.

Via video link, Nilüfer Yanya said: “Just wanted to say thanks so much for the award. Really means a lot, especially coming from AIM.”

This year marked the introduction of two new categories, TAAHLIAH won big with an award for Best Independent EP/Mixtape for her 2021-released EP ‘Angelica’.

On stage, the artist gave an emotional speech telling the audience: “I hope that by winning this award, does not only reflect me as an artist but also shines a light on how important it is for our marginalised identities to be recorded, cherished, and recognised.” receiving a standing ovation.

The Libertines received Special Recognition for their legendary career and influence on guitar music as Drummer Gary Powell said, “Thank you to everyone who supports independent music… Don’t follow somebody else, do your own thing, be individual, be independent!” On receiving this award, The Libertines thanked independent label, Rough Trade, for “Taking a chance” on them. As Rough Trade signees, it emphasised the strength of the working relationship between the two as they both scooped awards in the same year.

The Libertines

Having helped to define what an independent record label is when it was established in 1978, Rough Trade Records cemented their reputation with the Best Independent Label award demonstrating how a label’s cultural identity can benefit and enhance its artists since its inception. Under the leadership of Jeannette Lee and Geoff Travis, the label has released music from the likes of Black Midi, Jockstrap and Dean Blunt in recent times, while also dipping into its back catalogue for a series of reissues.

There were wins for several music industry leaders, including Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music for the unstoppable Rina Sawayama and Independent Champion in association with MCPS for Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot of [PIAS].

With previous recipients including Arlo Parks and ENNY, Nia Archives has been earmarked for similar stratospheric success by winning this year’s One To Watch in association with BBC Introducing, while American rapper and songwriter Blxst (Red Bull Records) was awarded International Breakthrough in association with Deezer.

With over 29,000 votes cast by fans across the category, Mitski emerged victorious as the Best Live Performer for her revered show and British DJ, D.O.D, claimed the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist. Champion’s reimagining of Ibeyi’s ‘Lavender & Red Roses ft. Jorja Smith’ (XL Recordings) was hailed as Best Independent Remix, while Maylee Todd’s ‘Maloo’ scooped Best Creative Campaign.

Opening this year’s ceremony, AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “Tonight is about us as a community celebrating the incredible successes of the world-beating UK independent music sector. It is a hugely competitive market out there, but we understand that we are stronger together and a win for one of us is a win for all of us. I’d like to say a huge congratulations to tonight’s winners and our sponsors.” After last night’s sparkling ceremony, it looks like the UK Independent music sector is going from strength to strength.

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See below for the full list of winners:

Diversity Champion 
Stormzy WINNER

Best Independent Album in association with Spotify
Boj – ‘Gbagada Express’ (Moves Recordings)
Children Of Zeus – ‘Balance’ (First Word Records)
Cleo Sol  – ‘Mother’ (Forever Living Originals) WINNER
Dave – ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ (Neighbourhood Recordings)
Dave Okumu – ‘Knopperz’ (Transgressive Records)
Emma-Jean Thackray – ‘Yellow’ (Movementt)
Mustafa – ‘When Smoke Rises’ (Young)
Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Painless’ (ATO Records)
SAULT – ‘NINE’ (Forever Living Originals)
Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’ (Lucky Number)

Best Independent Track in association with Meta
Anz – ‘You Could Be’ (ft. George Riley) (Ninja Tune)
Dave – ‘Starlight’ (Neighbourhood Recordings)
FKA twigs – ‘tears in the club’ ft. the weeknd (Young)
Jeshi – ‘Protein’ feat. Obongjayar (Because Music)
Knucks, SL – ‘Nice & Good’ (No Days Off)
Nova Twins – ‘Antagonist’ (Marshall Records) WINNER
Overmono – ‘So U Kno’ (XL Recordings)
Wet Leg – ‘Chaise Longue’ (Domino Recording Company)
Wu-Lu – ‘Broken Homes’ (Warp Records)
Yves Tumor – ‘Jackie’ (Warp Records)

UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music
Children of Zeus (First Word Records)
Knucks (No Days Off)
Nova Twins (Marshall Records)
Warmduscher (Bella Union)
Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company) WINNER

International Breakthrough in association with Deezer
Amyl & the Sniffers (Rough Trade)
Blxst (Red Bull Records) WINNER
Kokoroko (Brownswood Recordings)
Mdou Moctar (Matador Records)
Mitski (Dead Oceans)

Best Live Performer
Ben Böhmer (Anjunadeep)
IDLES (Partisan Records)
Mitski (Dead Oceans) WINNER
Shao Dow (DiY Gang Entertainment)
The Hu (Better Noise)

Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC 6 Music
Black Country, New Road  – ‘Ants From Up There’ (Ninja Tune)
Jana Rush – ‘Painful Enlightenment’ (Planet Mu Records)
Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Painless’ (ATO Records) WINNER
Ross From Friends – ‘Tread’ (Brainfeeder)
Tirzah – ‘Colourgrade’ (Domino Recording Company)

Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music
Rina Sawayama WINNER

Outstanding Contribution to Music in association with Merlin
Lethal Bizzle WINNER

Special Recognition
The Libertines (Rough Trade) WINNER

Best Independent EP/Mixtape
FKA twigs – ‘CAPRISONGS’ (Young)
Joy Orbison – ‘still slipping vol.1’ (XL Recordings)
Surya Sen – ‘At What Cost?’ (Skint Records)
TAAHLIAH – ‘Angelica’ (untitled (recs)) WINNER

Best Independent Remix
ATO / FLOHIO remix of ATO – ‘no caroline’ (MCMXCV)
Mura Masa remix of Erika de Casier – ‘Polite’ (4AD)
Champion remix of Ibeyi – ‘Lavender & Red Roses ft. Jorja Smith’ (XL Recordings) WINNER
Thom Yorke ‘Man on Fire’ remix of MF DOOM – ‘Gazzillion Ear’ (Lex Records)
Kaydy Cain remix of Shygirl – ‘BDE’ (Because Music)

One To Watch in association with BBC Introducing
Barry Can’t Swim (Technicolour / Ninja Tune) 
Jeshi (Because Music)
Léa Sen (Partisan Records)
TAAHLIAH (untitled (recs))

Best Independent Video in association with VEVO
Arlo Parks – ‘Softly’ (Transgressive Records)
Ibeyi – ‘Made of Gold ft. Pa Salieu’ (XL Recordings)
Jeshi – ‘3210’ (Because Music) WINNER 
Wesley Joseph – ‘Cold Summer’ (Secretly Canadian)
FKA twigs –  ‘tears in the club’ ft. the weeknd (Young)

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist
Arlo Parks (Transgressive Records)
D.O.D (Axtone Records) WINNER
KC Lights (Toolroom Productions)
Rathbone Place (Good Company Records)
Wet Leg (Domino Recording Company)

Best Creative Campaign in association with Able
Fontaines D.C. – ‘Skinty Fia’ campaign from Partisan Records
Maylee Todd – ‘Maloo’ campaign from Stones Throw Records WINNER
Mitski – ‘Laurel Hell’ campaign from Dead Oceans 
Obongjayar – ‘Some Nights I Dream of Doors’ campaign from September Recordings 
Radiohead – ‘KID A MNESIA’ campaign from XL Recordings

Best Independent Label
Domino Recording Company
Ninja Tune
Partisan Records
Rough Trade Records WINNER
Soundway Records

Best Boutique Label
Chess Club
Edition Records
Finesse Foreva
Local Action WINNER
Rough Bones

Independent Champion in association with MCPS
Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot of [PIAS] WINNER

Music Entrepreneur Of The Year
Corey Johnson – CEO & Founder of Defenders Ent. WINNER
Jamie Oborne – Founder of Dirty Hit/All On Red Management
Karen Emanuel – CEO & Founder of Key Production
Laura Lewis-Paul – CEO & Founder of Saffron Music
Peter Adarkwah – Label Owner of BBE Music

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.