The AIM Independent Music Awards have revealed their first set of 2023 nominees, celebrating the vibrant breadth of talent across the UK’s independent sector. Previous AIM Award winners Little Simz and Rina Sawayama are shortlisted for Best Album alongside Avelino, Wu-Lu and more. Returning to London’s Roundhouse on 26th September, it’s the most anticipated night in the independent music calendar.
The taste-making awards show highlights the stars of the future, often before any other ceremony, and the 2023 edition boasts a hugely exciting array of nominees. R&B-led pop singer RAYE and experimental dance act Shygirl lead the pack with three nods each, while multiple nominees include British jazz quintet Ezra Collective, London-based Nigerian songwriter Obongjayar, futuristic genre-defier Kelela, and experimental newcomer Jessica Winter who land two nods each. The ‘Best Live Performer’ decision will once again be put in the hands of music fans across the world, who can cast their vote for their favourite act here: Best Live Performer – AIM Awards 2023 (typeform.com)
As the coveted ‘Best Independent Album’ category makes its return, the nominee list includes 2020’s Pioneer Award winner Little Simz, who first received an AIM Award in 2016, before winning a BRIT and the Mercury Music Prize in 2022. She will be hotly-tipped as her album No Thank You joins previous AIM Awards winners Nova Twins and Rina Sawayama.
Topping off an incredible category shortlist, they’re joined by Kelela, Oliver Sim, Wu-Lu, Avelino, RAYE, and Shygirl. Soul-influencer rapper Obongjayar also earns a nomination for ‘Some Nights I Dream of Doors’, in addition to his nod for ‘Best Independent Video’ (in association with Vevo) alongside Ezra Collective, Kelela, RAYE and Wesley Joseph.
This year’s ‘One To Watch’ (in association with BBC Music Introducing) is bursting with rising talent, with nods going to Jessica Winter, Juice Menace, FLOWEROVLOVE, Laughta and Master Peace. Previous winners of this category include Arlo Parks, who has since scooped trophies at the BRITs and Mercurys, and Georgia, who subsequently received nominations from the Mercurys and NME Awards. Continuing to move from strength to strength, 2021’s One To Watch winner ENNY will also make a return this year, with the South London rapper in the running for ‘Best Independent EP/Mixtape’ alongside Saint Joshua, yunè pinku, Bellah and Jessica Winter.
2023’s ‘UK Independent Breakthrough’ category showcases a star-studded list of contenders, including electronic powerhouse duo Overmono, exuberant rapper Shygirl, alt-pop act Suki Waterhouse, high-energy producer I.Jordan and London-based jazz quintet Ezra Collective.
Shygirl, RAYE and Overmono also find themselves in the running for ‘Best Independent Track’ (in association with Meta) along with Sudan Archives’ vibrant ‘Selfish Soul’, Four Tet’s epic odyssey ‘Three Drums’ and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Perfume Genius’ collaborative ballad ‘Spitting Off The Edge Of The World’. Rounding out an impressive list of tracks, the talents of Connie Constance, Yves Tumor and Makaya McCraven also receive well-earned nods.
Also returning is the trophy for ‘Best Independent Remix’, with nominees including Jamie XX’s remix of Oliver Sim’s ‘GMT’, Soulwax’s remix of Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul’s ‘Cliche’, the Sega Bodega remix of Björk’s ‘Ovuke‘ (feat Shygirl), the Boys Noize remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Wolf’, and the Nu:Tone Remix of ‘GLXY; (feat. Hugh Hardie & Visionobi)’s ‘Butterfly Effect’.
The 2023 Awards will focus on celebrating the independent music community, incorporating more exclusive and intimate live performances set to take place throughout the ceremony. The AIM Independent Music Awards recognises the achievements of independent labels, artists and entrepreneurs that make up the UK’s diverse and thriving independent music sector.
Silvia Montello, CEO at AIM said: “This years’ AIM Independent Music Award nominees represent our diverse, dynamic and inclusive community, truly showcasing the incredible range of talent across all genres of the UK music scene. As the indie sector continues to grow, we look forward to celebrating the dedication of labels, artists, and their teams on the 26th September.”
See below for AIM Awards 2023 nominees
UK Independent Breakthrough
Ezra Collective (Partisan Records)
I.Jordan (Ninja Tune)
Overmono (XL Recordings)
Shygirl (Because Music)
Suki Waterhouse (Sub Pop)
Best Independent Track (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)
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)
Best Independent EP/ Mixtape
Bellah – ‘Adultsville’ (Winged Feet)
ENNY – ‘We Go Again’ (FAMM)
Jessica Winter – ‘Limerance’ (Lucky Number)
Saint Joshua – ‘EP2’(Ditto Music)
yunè pinku – ‘BABYLON IX’ (PLATOON)
Best Independent Album
Avelino – God Save The Streets (More Music Records/ OddChild Music)
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 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)’
Jamie XX remix (Young) – Oliver Sim – ‘GMT’
Boys Noize (Secretly Canadian) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Wolf’
One To Watch (BBC Music Introducing)
Jessica Winter (Lucky Number)
Juice Menace (Supernature)
FLOWEROVLOVE (FAE GRP)
Laughta (CTRL Records)
Master Peace (PMR)
Best Independent Video (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)
Wesley Joseph – ‘MONSOON’ (EEVILTWINN)