Lyor Cohen, Nadia Khan and Emmanuel de Buretel join AIM's Future Independents conference

For keynote discussion

Michelle Kambasha and Zena White also join for a talk led by Sammy Andrews, in collaboration with Music Week

One week to go until Future Independents on Thursday 3 June. Sign up for free below



Three industry disruptors at the cutting edge of music business and culture are coming together for an in-depth keynote discussion on the Future of Independent Music, with YouTube and Google's Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, Founder of Women in CTRL & Chair of AIM, Nadia Khan and Founder of Because Music, Emmanuel de Buretel.

The rapidly evolving independent community is the fastest growing part of the music economy. New release partners and tech disruptors have pushed aside traditional industry gatekeepers. This means there are more pathways to success than ever before. But it also creates a more complex landscape that needs careful navigating to build a strong career and business that will last.

AIM has brought together three global experts to discuss these changes and what they mean for entrepreneurs working to build a successful independent music business of the future.

Each keynote speaker brings a huge range of experience and a unique angle to the event. Lyor Cohen made his name managing legendary artists like Run DMC and The Beastie Boys while simultaneously developing the prestige of Def Jam Recordings, before becoming CEO of Warner Music Group and founding 300. Lyor now heads up YouTube and Google's music operations globally.

Nadia Khan's heavyweight artist management roster includes grime legend Lethal Bizzle. She has led multiple record labels to Top 20 success independently, and her own label imprint CTRL Records is focused on spotlighting female talent. Nadia is a passionate champion for equity, diversity and inclusion and currently sits as Chair of AIM.

Emmanuel de Buretel founded one of the world's most influential independent record labels, Because Music, pioneering the careers of artists including Christine and the Queens, Major Lazer, Justice, Metronomy and Parcels.

Completing the line-up of speakers are Zena White (Managing Director / SVP, Partisan Records) and Michelle Kambasha (Entertainment Publicist, Satellite 414) in a talk led by Sammy Andrews, presented in association with Music Week. The session will follow the journeys, experiences and outlooks of these inspirational music executives, all of whom have been recognised for their success by Music Week's 'Women in Music Awards'.

Zena White led one of the first Label Services businesses in the UK, before moving to the US where she is now helping to drive the phenomenal success of Partisan Records and its artists including Fela Kuti, IDLES, Fontaines D.C. and Laura Marling. Michelle Kambasha honed her PR talents as Press Officer at Secretly Label Group UK (Dead Oceans/Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian) before moving on to PR agency Satellite 414 who represent the likes of Adele, Rina Sawayama and Alfa Mist, personally working on Victoria Monet, Dave, Claud and many more, as well as expanding her PR skills to activists like Munroe Bergdorf. Interviewing them will be Music Week columnist, Sammy Andrews (also a Women in Music Award winner and Founder of Deviate Digital).

They will join a massive range of experts from leading music businesses and platforms like Absolute Label Services, Amazon Music, Beggars Group, Black Acre, HQ Recording, Label Worx, Patreon, PPL, Selector Radio, Spotify, Stones Throw, Supernature, Tru Tribe, Women in CTRL and YouTube Music.

Future Independents is AIM's new emerging music conference, empowering the next generation of music entrepreneurs, DIY artists, labels, and managers with the knowledge they need to level up in the modern music industry. The full-day event will take place in one week's time on Thursday 3 June, completely free to access. Tickets are available via

The event will be packed with sessions including a selection of panels, networking sessions, and workshops with key platforms and organisations Amazon Music, Facebook, Merlin, PPL, Spotify and YouTube Music – AIM's Annual Platinum Partners. AIM thanks each of its Annual Platinum Partners for their ongoing support, which helps to make AIM's annual programme of events possible.

Source AIM

May 28, 2021 4:00am ET by Pressparty  

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