AIM Independent Music Awards 2016: Winners Announced

The Association of Independent Music celebrated another triumphant year for independent music as it unveiled the winners at the sixth annual AIM Independent Music Awards.

Hosted by Radio X’s John Kennedy and BBC Radio 1 / 1Xtra presenter MistaJam, the AIM Awards is now established as the premiere event in the independent sector’s diary, marked by live performances this year from Oscar and Little Simz. 

With over twenty five years of visionary work to his name, XL Recordings’ Richard Russell was the very worthy recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award, presented by his long term friend and collaborator Damon Albarn.

The hotly contested Independent Label of The Year was won by Epitaph/Anti, who celebrate the label’s 20th anniversary this year, with up-and-comers Numbers following in their footsteps with the Best Small Label award. Jon Tolley from independent retailer Banquet Records was thanked for his enduring support of independent labels and artists with the Indie Champion Award.

Independent Album of The Year was picked up by Little Simz for her debut ‘A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons.’ Best Difficult Second Album was won by Daughter for ‘Not To Disappear’ while Adele added to her trophy shelf with Independent Track of The Year for her huge hit ‘Hello.’

Christine and The Queens won Independent Breakthrough of The Year for her incredible success in 2016. Sigala picked up the PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Act while Darren Hayman collected Hardest Working Band or Artist following his ambitious Thankful Villages project.

Recognising independent success outside the studio and charts, Brainchild Festival won the Golden Welly Award for Best Independent Festival while BABYMETAL collected the fan-voted Best Live Act award for their incendiary live shows.  Glam rock icon Noddy Holder took to the stage to collect Slade’s Special Catalogue Release of the Year prize, with Wichita signing Oscar picking up Independent Video of the Year for his Sometimes video directed by Bryan Schlam.

Grime superstar Stormzy was the worthy recipient of this year’s Innovator Award, presented by Radio 1Xtra’s Twin B and Beats 1’s Julie Adenuga.  In just two years since his first EP he has managed to rack up a top ten hit, tens of millions of online streams and views, collaborations with the biggest brands, and become one of the most in demand live performers on the circuit

Another cultural tour de force, Roisin Murphy collected the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, celebrating the innovations of the singer, writer and performer whose extensive body of work continues to push boundaries and shape the genre while being a constant source of inspiration to new artists.

See the full list of winners below:

BEST SMALL LABEL (in association with Proper Music Distribution)

Numbers

BEST DIFFICULT SECOND ALBUM (in association with Radio X)

Daughter – Not To Disappear

SPECIAL CATALOGUE RELEASE OF THE YEAR (In association with MODO)

Slade – When Slade Rocked The World

HARDEST WORKING BAND OR ARTIST

Darren Hayman

GOLDEN WELLY AWARD FOR BEST INDEPENDENT FESTIVAL In association with AIF, voted for via DIYmag.com)

Brainchild Festival

INDEPENDENT BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR (in association with YouTube)

Christine And The Queens

INDIE CHAMPION AWARD (in association with CI)

Jon Tolley – Banquet Records

INDEPENDENT VIDEO OF THE YEAR (in association with Vevo)

Oscar – Sometimes

BEST LIVE ACT (voted for by visitors to Songkick)

BABYMETAL

INDEPENDENT TRACK OF THE YEAR (in association with MCPS)

Adele – Hello

PPL AWARD FOR MOST PLAYED NEW INDEPENDENT ACT

Sigala

INNOVATOR AWARD (in association with FUGA)

Stormzy

INDEPENDENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR (In association with The Orchard)

Little Simz – A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons

INDEPENDENT LABEL OF THE YEAR (In association with Believe Digital)

Epitaph/ANTI

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC (in association with Amazon Music)

Roisin Murphy

PIONEER AWARD

Richard Russell, XL Recordings