Artists from South London have swept up a number of music awards nominations.
Arlo Parks, AJ Tracey, Shygirl and ENNY are among the musicians to be nominated for the AIM Independent Music Awards.
Hammersmith-raised singer-songwriter Arlo Parks topped the shortlists with four nominations including Best Independent Album, Best Independent Track, UK Independent Breakthrough and Best Independent Video.
One of the fastest rising stars around, Arlo Parks debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams reached number 3 on the UK Albums Chart.
She said: “What an honour to be nominated for four AIM Awards. This is far beyond my wildest dreams and I’m so glad my work has reached this far and touched so many, especially in these tumultuous times.”
Ms Parks won the One to Watch award at the AIM Awards last year, beating fellow South Londoner Greentea Peng and Blanco White, among others.
The indie singer first began making waves in 2018 with her debut single Cola. Since then, she has released two EPs as well as her first album, which has gained critical acclaim and popularity.
In May she won a Brit award and has performed on the Graham Norton show.
Brixton-born rapper and producer AJ Tracey has also been nominated twice, after scooping the Innovator award last year.
AJ Tracey returns to the shortlist with nominations for Best [Difficult] Second Album and Best Creative Packaging for second album Flu Game.
Based in Ladbroke Grove, west London, AJ started out in the pirate radio scene in 2014, although his songs under the name Looney date from 2011.
Mr Tracey released his self-titled debut album in 2019, which reached number three on the UK Albums chart, with the single Ladbroke Grove also reaching number three on the UK Singles chart.
His second album Flu Game was released in April this year and features singles such as Dinner Guest and West Ten.
Rapper ENNY, (main picture) who is from Thamesmead, has also received a nod in the One To Watch category.
Her track Peng Black Girls (feat. Amia Brave) is also up for the Best Independent Track award.
She said: “It’s such an honour to be nominated for one award let alone two. It’s exciting to see your art getting recognition, especially so early on.” ENNY self-released her debut single, He’s Not Into You, in April 2020.
She was later scouted by English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith who signed her to her own label, where she released Peng Black Girls.
Her third single, Same Old, which hits out at Brexit and gentrification was released this year.
Blackheath-raised rapper and DJ Shygirl has also been nominated for the Best Independent Track category for her song Tasty.
The virtual ceremony will take place as a global livestream on August 25 with hosts 1Xtra & 6 Music’s Jamz Supernova and Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s Tiffany Calver joining forces to host.
AIM is the not-for-profit organisation representing and supporting the UK’s independent music community, which makes up over a quarter of the UK’s recorded music market.
Now in its 22nd year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to DIY or self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music.
AIM exists to level the playing field for UK independent music businesses.
No matter their genre, their background, how much money they have, how they identify or their age, AIM provides access to the knowledge and contacts creative entrepreneurs need to create, build and win.
They support their members, not only through the difficult times, but also on a day-to-day level with practical support that makes a real difference to their lives and work, helping them take their businesses to the next level.
This year’s charity partners are Tomorrow’s Warriors, who continue to champion and mentor aspiring young artists, and the Refugee Council, who provide vital support for those in need.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen by AIM to be one of their charity partners for this year’s awards.
Refugees and people seeking asylum face significant challenges and we are extremely grateful to AIM for supporting our work to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society have food on their tables, a safe place to sleep and support to begin rebuilding their lives.”
AJ Tracey, Flu Game
AJ Tracey’s second album Flu Game was released in April this year.
At just under an hour in length with 16 tracks, Flu Game is a more extensive offering than his 2019 self-titled LP.
The rapper goes solo on much of Flu Game as including on tracks Anxious and Little More Love, but the project includes collaborations such as Bringing
It Back with Digga D, West Ten with Mabel and Dinner Guest with MoStack.
The album is named after the famous 1997 basketball game where Michael Jordan caught food poisoning a night before a crucial game but went on to score 38 points.
ENNY – Same Old
After ending 2020 with her breakout track Peng Black Girls, the rapper and singer ENNY is gearing up to release her debut EP.
The second single to be released from it is Same Old, which covers topics such as gentrification,Brexit and the anxieties of everyday life.
The soulful R’n’B sound against hard-hitting verses is ultimately uplifting, focusing on moving forward and getting past life’s obstacles.
ENNY said: “There are so many beautiful moments and feelings attached to this track from the moment it was created and I hope that anyone that listens to it is able to experience that energy.”
Ezra Collective feat. Jorja Smith – Reasons in Disguise
Five-piece Ezra Collective’s sound nods respectfully to a classic jazz footprint, celebrating the originators while also carving a path solely their own.
They marry the delicate technicalities of jazz with afrobeat and hip-hop, tied together by a sound that’s unmistakably London.
Despite first being released in 2019, their track Reasons in Disguise, featuring the soulful voice of Jorja Smith, is an essential for any chilled playlist and a perfect introduction to the harmonious tour de force that is Ezra Collective