Charles Caldas Named Indie Champion & Allen Kovac Takes Innovator Award at AIM Awards
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AJ Tracey, Calpurnia, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gerry Cinnamon and IDLES shortlisted for ‘Best Live Act’
Final tables remaining; limited tickets to the live show and after-party available here: http://
Charles Caldas, CEO of global digital rights agency for the independent label sector Merlin, will take home the Indie Champion award in recognition of his work for Merlin’s members worldwide. Caldas built Merlin from an idea into the globally recognised entity it is today, striking landmark deals with the world’s leading digital music platforms, including Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer, NetEase, Alibaba, Tencent and Facebook. During his 12 years as CEO, Merlin’s membership has grown to include over 850 members in 63 countries; embodying more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors, who command in excess of 12% of the digital recorded music market. Previous winners have included Warp co-founder Steve Beckett, XL Recordings’ Richard Russell and NTS founder Femi Adeyemi.
On being named Indie Champion, Caldas said “Working on behalf of so many members of AIM, alongside their global Merlin member compatriots, has been a privilege. To have that work recognised in this way by an organisation that has been such a trailblazer in advocating for UK independents and such an important and valued supporter of Merlin since its launch, is humbling, and a true honour.”
Meanwhile, Eleven Seven Music and 10th Street Entertainment CEO Allen Kovac will take home the Innovator award, presented in association with Amazon Music. Kovac has led the way as a truly forward-thinking manager, working with the likes of seven-time platinum-certified Mötley Crüe, Duran Duran, Meat Loaf and Blondie. An early advocate of Nielsen SoundScan, he helped revolutionise the way record sales were counted. While in the 90s, he met with Apple to discuss a digital jukebox, which went on to become the iPod.
Kovac also became an early supporter of streaming, helping Meat Loaf’s ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’ become one of the first songs to be streamed on the internet, hosting the first online video press conference with Duran Duran, and later championing Spotify’s all-you-can-eat streaming model. He currently acts as an advisor for music analytics firm BuzzAngle Music. A fierce defender of artist rights and levelling the playing field for Independent labels, he joins previous winners including neo-pop star SOPHIE and grime label and collective Boy Better Know as AIM’s 2019 Innovator.
Commenting on his award, Kovac said “Technology and innovation have the same impact as hearing great music for the first time, and asking technology experts how their products work has created new opportunities for my artists. This award belongs to the experts who have given me new adventures that led to new endeavours, that I’ve brought to our independent community. The main challenge isn’t technology, but clinging on to our old culture.”
Nominees for the publicly voted ‘Best Live Act’ award in association with Songkick can finally be revealed after much anticipation. Following a massive 35,000 votes, nominees include AJ Tracey, Calpurnia, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gerry Cinnamon and IDLES. The winner — the act with the most amount of votes — will be announced on the night of the awards.
AIM Award-winners Let’s Eat Grandma will be performing a DJ set at the official afterparty alongside disco, soul, funk and hip-hop UK institution BBE Music and other AIM members. With Johnny Marr taking the headline spot as well as a performance from electro-pop sensation Georgia, the 2019 AIM Independent music Awards is ready for its biggest year to date, with many more surprises to come.
The ceremony will begin at 3pm, with the live show and after-party running from 8:15pm-2am.
Tickets to the ceremony, which include dinner, drinks receptions, and access to the exclusive live gig and after-party, can be purchased here: http://
Tickets to the live gig and after-party only are available here: http://
UK Independent Breakthrough (in association with YouTube Music)
Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook)
Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify)
Best [Difficult] Second Album
One To Watch (in association with BBC Music Introducing)
Best Small Label
Best Creative Packaging (in association with MCPS)
Best Independent Video (in association with Vevo)
Best Independent Label (in association with [PIAS])
PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Artist
Best Live Act (in association with Songkick)
Innovator Award (in association with Amazon Music)
Outstanding Contribution to Music (in association with Merlin)
Pioneer Award (in association with Bucks Music Group)
August 14, 2019 8:35am ET by Pressparty