Words: Joseph Ryan-Hicks
AIM - the Association of Independent Music - is hosting its annual awards ceremony tonight (25 August), boasting the very best in new music talent.
The show, which will be available to stream from 8pm BST on YouTube, is set to include a handful of your queer pop faves including Arlo Parks, Lava La Rue and Serpentwithfeet.
The event, which has previously honoured the likes of Christine and the Queens and SOPHIE, is a moment to shine the spotlight on industry-leading creativity and innovation from independent artists and labels.
This year, the event is going one step further in terms of representation and will include the Progress Pride flag on all its award statuettes. This declaration of allyship is something AIM CEO Paul Pacifico claims is part of the non-profit organisations’ DNA.
"[AIM] exists to resist over dominance of representation in the market" he tells Attitude. "Campaigning on issues of social justice is therefore in our DNA and our members challenge us to ensure that AIM reflects and projects the true breadth and diversity of artists and entrepreneurs in the independent music space.
"Many people that participate in the independent music community do so because they reject the mainstream or because they were rejected by the mainstream. We see our community as a constellation of individual identities. Our job is to galvanise those points of light into a single voice that can affect change.
"The LGBTQ+ community are and always have been an important force within cultural shifts and are absolutely a core part of the AIM community."
Speaking on the authenticity of the organisations allyship, Pacifico is committed to representing and uplifting the queer community in the AIM vision.
"Over the last five years we have totally reset our approach to engaging on social justice, bringing it to the core of everything we do with transparent responsibility and accountability…
"We have tried to consciously transition away from high profile, performative action, to a deeper and more considered stance of embodied solidarity. This has included practical steps and actions such as forming the LGBTQI+ Network for the Independent Music Sector and platforming diverse role models at our conferences and events.
"My hope is that we can make it possible for anyone with talent and drive to forge their own path in music on their own terms no matter what their background, identity, or location. I hope AIM can continue to hold the doors of the music world open and prevent them being closed by dominant corporate forces."
To watch the 2021 AIM Awards, stream the event here from 8pm BST on Wednesday 25 August.