Tkay Maidza’s breakthrough is gathering momentum in the U.K., where she snags a brace of nominations for the 2021 AIM Independent Music Awards.

The Zimbabwe-born, Australia-based singer, songwriter and hip-hop artist will face off against the likes of Bicep and Fontaines D.C. for the International Breakthrough trophy while her 2020 release “Shook” (via 4AD) is up for Best Independent Track.

There’s a chance of silverware for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, whose Eco Wax Editions (via Heavenly Recordings and Flightless Records) is up for Best Creative Packaging.

Watch Tkay Maidza’s ‘Shook’:


With four nominations, British singer-songwriter and poet Arlo Parks has the best chance of glory heading into the AIM Independent Music Awards, which will live stream on August 25.

The AIM nominations are further proof that Maidza’s music is going places.

Earlier this year, she landed Best Record at the inaugural Rolling Stone Australia Awards, her recent single ‘Kim’ with Yung Baby Tate saw her feature in the pages of Pitchfork, Paper, Fader, Nylon and i-D, and, before that, she teamed up with Instagram for the social platform’s widely-promoted campaign, ‘Get Into What You Heart’.

Her latest EP Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 is due out July 9. It’s the follow-up to the ARIA Award-nominated 2020 set, Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2.

Maidza wears the crown as Australia’s Queen of Hip-Hop, having won an MTV Europe Music Award, earned a BET Award nomination, performed at Governor’s Ball in New York, and been the face of an international advertising campaign for Mumm Champagne.

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This year’s AIM event will stream for free with three broadcast partners: ON AIR, YouTube and Facebook

For more on the AIM Awards, click here.

Full List of 2021 AIM Independent Music Awards Nominees

UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music

Arlo Parks (Transgressive Records)

Conducta (Kiwi Rekords)

India Jordan (Ninja Tune)

Rina Sawayama (Dirty Hit)

Working Men’s Club  (Heavenly Recordings)

International Breakthrough in association with Deezer

Bicep (Ninja Tune)

Fontaines D.C. (Partisan Records)

Jayda G (Ninja Tune)

박혜진 Park Hye Jin (Ninja Tune)

Tkay Maidza (4AD)

Best Independent Track in association with Facebook

Arlo Parks – Hope (Transgressive Records)

Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Heartbreak (OUTLIER – Ninja Tune)

ENNY – Peng Black Girls ft. Amia Brave (FAMM)

Katy J Pearson – Take Back The Radio (Heavenly Recordings)

Lava La Rue – Magpie (Marathon Artists)

Mustafa – Air Forces (Young)

serpentwithfeet – Fellowship (Secretly Canadian)

Shygirl – TASTY (Because Music)

Squid – Narrator ft. Martha Skye Murphy (Warp Records)

Tkay Maidza – Shook (4AD)

Best Independent Album in association with Spotify

Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive Records)

Che Lingo – The Worst Generation  (7Wallace Music)

Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises (Luaka Bop)

Krust – The Edge of Everything (Crosstown Rebels)

Moses Sumney – græ (Jagjaguwar)

Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher (Dead Oceans)

Speaker Music – Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry (Planet Mu)

Rian Treanor – File Under UK Metaplasm (Planet Mu)

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club (Heavenly Recordings)

Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC Radio 6 Music

AJ Tracey – Flu Game (Revenge Records)

Bicep – Isles (Ninja Tune)

Dream Wife – So When You Gonna… (Lucky Number)

Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death (Partisan Records)

Leon Vynehall – Rare, Forever (Ninja Tune)

Best Independent Remix in association with SoundCloud

Bon Bon (Mike Lindsay Remix) – Songhoy Blues (Transgressive Records)

Fair Chance ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B (Floating Points Remix) – Thundercat (Brainfeeder)

megapunk (Elkka Remix) – Ela Minus (Domino)

soulboy (IZCO Remix) – p-rallel, Greentea Peng (Different Recordings)

Sweat ft. LIZ (SOPHIE Remix) – Sonikku (Bella Union)

One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing

Che Lingo (7Wallace Music)

ENNY (FAMM)

Lava La Rue (Marathon Artists)

Nova Twins (Nova Twins Ltd)

TSHA (Ninja Tune)

Best Creative Packaging

AJ Tracey – Flu Game (Special Edition) (Revenge Records)

Figaro de Montmartre – Emotion Soap (Figaro de Montmartre)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Eco Wax Editions (Heavenly Recordings and Flightless Records)

Sleaford Mods – Spare Ribs (Rough Trade Records)

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club (RAW Edition) (Heavenly Recordings)

Best Independent Video in association with Vevo

Arlo Parks – Hope (Transgressive Records)

Julien Baker – Hardline (Matador Records)

Kojaque – No Hands (Different Recordings)

Novo Amor – If We’re Being Honest (AllPoints)

Wesley Joseph – Thrilla (EEVILTWINN)

Best Independent Label in association with [Integral]

4AD

Dead Oceans

Forever Living Originals 

Partisan Records 

Transgressive Records

Best Small Label in association with Believe

Athens of the North

Finesse Foreva

Killing Moon

Sonic Cathedral

Strut Records

Indie Champion in association with MCPS

Bandcamp

Love Record Stores

Diversity Champion

Paulette Long