2nd February 2012

The winners of the 2011 IMPALA Outstanding Contribution Award are Martin Mills and the ‘Label Love’ initiative…

Martin Mills is the founder and CEO of the Beggars Group, home to XL Recordings, which has enjoyed outstanding recent success with Adele’s album “21”.  Since the very beginning of his career, Martin has been campaigning in favour of independent music. He has also played key roles in setting up representative organisations at national (AIM), European (IMPALA) and worldwide level (WIN). This award underlines Martin’s achievements in artistic as well as industry terms.

The second award goes to the “Label Love” initiative, a spontaneous operation launched by genuine music fans right after the fire that destroyed the SonyDADC warehouse in Enfield and the entire stocks of PIAS-distributed independent record labels contained within during the London riots in August 2011.  Supporters of independent music coordinated a series of activities to support the labels directly affected by the fire.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA commented: “With Martin’s success this year there could only be one label winner, but the spontaneity and generosity of the Label Love initiative meant we had to break the rules and have two awards this year.”

The Outstanding Contribution Award is one of two new annual awards announced by IMPALA last year, to showcase European independent music and those who drive it. It aims to give recognition to the people and the initiatives that have promoted the interests of independent music in Europe. The winner of the inaugural award was the late Mario Pacheco.


IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases. SME’s also produce 80% of Europe’s jobs. IMPALA has its own award schemes to help promote cultural diversity and new talent and highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. IMPALA award winning artists include Efterklang, Adele, Manu Chao, Radiohead, Agnes Obel, Caro Emerald and Sigur Ros.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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