Martin Mills to Receive ‘Pioneer Award’ at AIM Independent Music Awards 2014

Founder and chairman of The Beggars Group, Martin Mills has long been considered one of the most influential and pioneering voices in independent music.

With four decades of visionary work to his name, the AIM Independent Music Awards are honoured to announce him as the very worthy recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award.

Martin Mills set up Beggars Banquet in 1974, initially as record shops in London, guiding its expansion into a record label in 1977, launching the careers of Bauhaus, The Charlatans, The Cult, The Lurkers, Gary Numan and more.

The company has since grown in to a confederacy of successful record labels, operating from London and with offices in all major markets. The Beggars Group, which Martin chairs, currently comprises 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings and Young Turks, whose rosters include the likes of Adele, Alabama Shakes, Bon Iver, Cat Power, Grimes, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Vampire Weekend, Warpaint, Jack White, Yo La Tengo and The xx.

Martin has been actively involved in promoting the collective interests of the independent sector, and instrumental in the setting up of the sector’s representative bodies. He was awarded an MBE in the 2008 New Year honours, as well as outstanding contribution awards from Music Week, Billboard, the Radio Academy, the Featured Artists Coalition, IMPALA, A2IM, Canadian Music Week, and the Music Producers’ Guild.

Martin is the fourth recipient of the Pioneer Award following previous winners and industry luminaries Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Daniel Miller (Mute) and Laurence Bell (Domino). Speaking of the award Martin commented, "I’m delighted and moved to receive this honour from my peers; nothing can mean more than that."

Alison Wenham, Chairman of AIM said, “I'm so glad the judges have chosen Martin to receive this year's Pioneer Award. Martin is one of the music industry's great visionaries, having built an exceptional company

around finding and nurturing true talent. Martin has done more than anyone in the world to support and strengthen the independent sector globally through his work with AIM, WIN, Merlin and Impala, and I look forward to celebrating his achievements in September."

The AIM Independent Music Awards 2014 return to The Brewery in Clerkenwell on September 2nd. Tickets are on sale now from

Shining a spotlight on the abundant success stories of 2014, the media partners and leading sponsors joining forces to deliver this year’s event include; 7digital, Amazon MP3, AIF, Consolidated Independent, Disc Manufacturing Services, DIY Magazine, eMusic, Music Week, Nokia MixRadio, The Orchard, PPL, Red Bull Studios, Songkick, Spotify, Vevo and XFM.

The awards are voted for by an expert panel of judges from across the media and music industry, with representatives from; Radio 1 and 1Xtra, 6Music, the NME, The Quietus, Drowned In Sound, Music Week, The Independent, Radio 2, XFM, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, VICE and Mixmag. 

The judging panel for the AIM Awards 2014 is:

Mike Walsh (XFM)

Sean Adams (DrownedInSound)

Tom Robinson (BBC 6music)          

Ben Patashnik (Journalist)

Luke Turner (The Quietus)

Pete Paphides (Journalist)

Ralph Moore (Mixmag)

Ryan Newman (BBC 1Xtra)             

Elisa Bray (The Independent)          

John Kennedy (XFM)

Tim Ingham (Music Week)

DJ Target (1Xtra)

Danielle Perry (XFM)

Dan Stubbs (NME)

Janice Long (BBC R2)       

Huw Stephens (BBC R1)

Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music)

Jen Walker (Kerrang!)

Alexander Milas (Metal Hammer)

Joe Muggs (Journalist)

Alice Levine (BBC R1)

Mistajam (BBC 1Xtra)

Lauren Martin (Thump, VICE)

Alex Baker (Kerrang! Radio)


Categories for the 2014 Awards:

Best Live Act

Independent Breakthrough of the Year

Hardest Working Band or Artist

Best Small Label

Special Catalogue Release of the Year

Golden Welly Award for Best Independent Festival

Independent Video of the Year

Indie Champion Award

Best 'Difficult' Second Album

Independent Track of the Year

PPL Award for Most Played New Artist

Independent Album of the Year

Independent Label of the Year

Pioneer Award

Outstanding Contribution to Music


About AIM

 AIM is a not-for-profit trade body established in 1999 to represent the UK independent music industry. Now in its 13th year, AIM acts for over 90% of the independent market, with over 800 members from small start-ups to the largest and most respected independents in the world. AIM promotes this exciting and diverse sector globally, leveraging the sector’s power as a fifth major to enable its members to grow, grasp new opportunities and break into new markets. 

In addition to the crucial role AIM plays in advocacy and lobbying for the independent sector, AIM makes a daily difference to the businesses of members by providing advice, training and business support to ensure members have the knowledge, skills and contacts needed to succeed.