After picking up a Roots Award at this years BBC Folk Awards Britain’s foremost political songwriter, and quintessential independent artist, Billy Bragg is to become the worthy recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award at this year’s AIM Independent Music Awards.
When Billy picked up his Roots Award in January this year he gave a very humbling speech saying “I’m a bit of an outsider…but I fit in by writing topical songs that fit in.” He added that “It’s been the folk audience that has kept that alive…more power to them.” Hard to believe that it has been 30 years since his debut album Life’s A Riot and he has remained a steadfast figure on the independent music front since as well as a singer who has never been afraid to be outspoken in his personal beliefs as he demonstrated with his support of the miners’ during their 1984 strike, and the following year he formed the musicians’ alliance Red Wedge.
This year he released his 12th studio album Tooth and Nail (review here), recorded in just five days it was a return to the spontaneous recording and production style of his first albums. Billy said, ‘I was inspired by punk rock, not just by the music but by the DIY ethos that drove the scene. Over the years I’ve held onto that spirit by working with labels whose commitment to independence has offered me greater control of my output. Therefore, to be recognised by AIM as an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to music is a great honour.’
Chairman of AIM, Alison Wenham heralded the Award recipient, “Billy is bottled independent spirit. His ethos, his work ethic, his constant campaigning towards a better deal for musicians the world over – not forgetting a catalogue of great music – earns him AIM’s coveted 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Music.”
Billy will receive the award, alongside Pioneer Award winner Geoff Travis and other award recipients at The Brewery in Clerkenwell on September 3rd. Tickets for the awards ceremony are on sale now from www.musicindie.com/awards