As the 60th Grammy Awards approaches, this year’s list of nominees features a wide range of well-known and up-and-coming artists. Many of these artists have broken free from the mainstream music machine to present their work via independent labels.
Independent artists make up 55% of nominations in all non-producer and non-spoken word categories, with 43 of the 81 categories being majority independent nominees. In the Jazz field independents comprise a whopping 92% of artists nominated, and take home 80% of the nominations in both the American Roots and Composing/Arranging categories. Special congrats to A2IM members Concord Music Group (12 nominations), Mack Avenue (8 nominations), Naxos (7 nominations), Beggars Group (5 nominations), Ninja Tune/Counter Records (4 nominations), and to Big Machine, Compass Records, Eleven Seven Music, Numero Group, and Sub Pop, who are all bringing home 3 nominations this year. You can find the full list of independent nominations here.
A2IM, the advocacy group for independent labels and their artists, is excited to see such a large number of independent artists being recognized by the Recording Academy.
“Independent music is doing better than ever with a record global market share of 37.32% according to Billboard. Last year more than two-thirds of Grammy nominations were independent releases. Independent music’s authenticity, vitality, and genre diversity ensure its keystone role in the recording industry and American culture. A2IM thanks the Recording Academy and its members for its inclusiveness.” says A2IM CEO Richard James Burgess.
For years, A2IM’s mission has been to take independent music “beyond the gatekeepers,” allowing independent artists the same opportunities, media attention, and airplay as the biggest players in the music industry. Through its advocacy efforts, the organization has fought to ensure that independent artists are paid the money they deserve. A2IM has also taken independent music overseas, promoting artists in places such as Latin America and Asia. In addition to this, A2IM’s annual Indie Week gives artists and labels a forum to gain insight into best practices while providing a space to network with those who have experience in traversing the music scene.
A2IM currently boasts 511 label members – the highest since its inception – and with its rapidly growing numbers, the organization continues to impact the music scene at the Grammy Awards and beyond.
If you’re a member of the Recording Academy, we encourage you to VOTE INDEPENDENT! You can check out the A2IM Independent Voter Guide for final round voting here. Final-Round Voting begins on December 7 at 9:00 a.m. PT, and closes on December 21 at 6:00 p.m. PT.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 500 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.
The organization’s board of directors consists of the following: ATO Vice President Stephanie Alexa, President of Concord Music Group Glen Barros, Redeye Co-Owner Glenn Dicker, INgrooves EVP & General Manager Amy Dietz, Co-President of Mom+Pop Music Thaddeus Rudd, Big Machine COO Andrew Kautz, Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills, Hopeless Records Owner Louis Posen, Kill Rock Stars President Portia Sabin, Secretly Label Group Co-Owner Darius Van Arman and Razor & Tie President Vic Zaraya.