The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has announced an impressive lineup for this year’s A2IM Libera Awards celebrating independent music and labels.
This year’s event, the largest global awards ceremony for independent music, consists of an in-person, ticketed gala focused on industry and advocacy awards, held at Webster Hall in New York City, and a separate free-to-watch broadcast consumer awards and performances
Celebrating the extraordinary talent of the independent music community, the evening honors legendary DJs, producers and rappers Madlib with the Independent Icon Awards.. Signed to Peanut Butter Wolf’s Stones Throw Records, the group had a crucial impact on the label and brand. The trio eventually split to work on solo projects, leading to history-making collaborations like 2003’s Madlib album champion sound, created the 2004 album with longtime friend J Dilla Crazy co-recorded with MC MF Doom and several singles and LPs with rapper Freddie Gibbs released on independent label Madlib Invazion.
RSVP FOR THE VIRTUAL CEREMONY
The virtual ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. ET exclusively on the A2IM YouTube channel. The online show will feature performances by artists including Japanese breakfastsoulful singer-songwriter and producer Brittany Howard, Helado Negrofresh from an international tour to support his seventh studio album, Far in; Songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist caution toneGrammy Award-winning Jason isbell and his band The 400 Unit, who receive three awards including Best Americana Record and Record of the Year.
To register for the live stream, visit liberaawards.com/live.
Artists performing live at the gala include: Sammy Rae and the friends, a 7-piece funk-infused rock ‘n’ roll band led by singer-songwriter Samantha Bowers; folk artists Tre Burtwho has drawn praise from NPRand is touring in support of his latest album, you, yes you; Grammy Award-winning five-piece brass ensemble Canadian brass (nominated for the Best Classical category at this year’s awards); and pop-R&B singer-songwriter from Brooklyn AdrianDanielwho has received critical acclaim from VIBE and NPR and has recently released his latest EP purple. Additional cast members will be announced in the coming weeks. Madlib will also be DJing the Libera Awards afterparty at the Ritz Lounge. The event will take place on Webster Hall in New York City 6pm to 11pm ET.
The in-person gala will include live awards ceremonies from industry insiders including Label of the Year (Small, Medium, Large), A2IM Humanitarian and more. Two new honors focused on advocacy for A2IM on Capitol Hill are presented: The Congressional Independent Music Guardian Award is presented Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA)and the Excellence In Advocacy Award will honor singer and activist Dionne Warwick.
That IMPALA Sustainability Task Force receives the first Innovation in Sustainability Award. To keep up with A2IM’s sustainability initiatives, the Libera Awards encourages the choice of a plant-based meal, and all award winners receive individually designed trophies that are locally made and made from 100% recycled material.
Bruce Houghton is the founder and publisher of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as senior advisor to Bandsintown, which acquired both publications in 2019. He is Founder and President of Skyline Artists Agency and Professor at Berklee College Of Music.