The IMI 8th Oct 2021

Indie Vision: IMI member execs pitch for AIM Board positions

Alexandria Hock, Hugh Worskett, Jason Ngimbi, Jason Rackam, Joseph Hatch and Tobenna Egekwu are among candidates for the 2021 AIM Board to be announced at the organisation's AGM later this month...

AIM revealed candidates for its 2021 Board elections yesterday (October 7), with the shortlist including a number of executives from companies on The IMI Index.

Representatives at every AIM Rightsholder and Distributor business have until midnight on Tuesday, October 19 to cast their votes, with results announced at AIM’s AGM on Wednesday, October 21.

Each candidate has made their case for election on AIM’s website. Here’s what those from IMI supporting companies had to say…

Alexandria Hock – SVP, Business & Legal Affairs, Better Noise Music

I was born into music. In fact, at three years old my father, a then-current executive at MCA, took a photo of me meeting Elton John, backstage at MSG. In watching the music industry progress through his eyes and listening to stories about his colleagues fighting against the impending digital age, I found my calling—keeping the art of music alive.

Over the past seven years as a music attorney, I’ve focused extensively on protecting music through nurturing and anticipating developments in the digital age and ensuring the artists and labels are properly compensated. As a young female executive in the industry, I offer not only a fresh perspective, but also an inherent understanding and appreciation of music, tech and digital, and the industry as a whole.

The importance of our group of independents in the global recorded music market cannot be understated—it’s a force to be reckoned with. I find myself now more than ever wanting to dive into supporting these global efforts by uniting the regionalized fronts, with the UK being a notable epicenter. It would be an honor to be elected as one of the trusted voices in serving the UK’s independent music sector.

Hugh Worskett – CEO/founder Young Poet

I’d bring an unusual combination of experience to the AIM Board, having successfully operated in both creative and commercial roles. Prior to setting up Young Poet, I produced records for major label artists including Michael Kiwanuka, Birdy and Crystal Fighters, as well as independent artists such as Dodie, Will Joseph Cook and Orla Gartland generating hundreds of millions streams in the process. As founder and CEO of Young Poet, I have built and run an indie-tastemaker label from scratch, securing significant levels of investment as well as running a team of 4 full time staff and 30+ external suppliers at any one time.

The friction that exists between creative and commercial concerns has become even more extreme in the streaming era, and experience managing and bridging both is, I believe, vital in maintaining faith and accountability in an established system that has many flaws but must evolve rather than be torn down. I have a track record working and communicating with artists as much as finance professionals, giving me a broader perspective of the conflicting forces at play in the modern industry.

Running an indie label requires a cross-discipline approach incorporating A&R, marketing, promotion, and digital strategy often operating in an extremely complex and dynamic environment. As an AIM Board member, I would strive to contribute as much of this experience as possible, hopefully to the overall benefit of the independent sector. I am a huge believer in the UK independent sector as a generator of social, cultural, and economic value and believe there has been no better time in the last 20 years to champion the sector’s existing capabilities as well as realise its untapped potential, particularly in the face of the challenges Brexit and the evolving creator and streaming economies pose.

Jason Ngimbi – founder Polarface Music Group

What I would bring to the AIM Board, is showing that AIM are current within society and the music industry. These factors will help us to resonate with our audience and attract support. I see myself as a valuable asset in the indie sector due to my age, where I can resonate with a younger demographic who are keen to follow our industry. In addition, I want to play a role where I can inspire people of colour to feel that they have someone who can represent them.

I was lucky that when I had an interest in AIM, I had individuals like Achal Dhillon who I could look up to. I want to follow that route and ensure that our board is representing the diverse business that we are to our friends of colour.

I founded Polarface when I was 19 years old. My route of starting a label was not the typical route in which a lot of labels are founded, where usually major capital is put forward. My route began in student loans and uUni club nights. Having so little, but so much ambition is what has given me levels of experiences that I’m grateful that I have encountered, such as leadership in running a business and most importantly to have knowledge of our industry. It has presented me with expertise, where I’m able to provide advice and aid other individuals who want to work in music.

Furthermore, to run a business where a lot of people might have would quit, for me to be operating for nearly five years shows the high level of strategic thinking and creative input that has played a role for Polarface to stay active. Very honoured to see these factors have benefited Polarface and now I want to extend this to AIM.

Jason Rackam – Managing Director, [PIAS]

I would like to bring to the AIM board my experience in working in both the major label & independent sector of the music industry for the last 30 years (I have seen both sides of the coin). I truly believe that the independent sector is a powerful force, that through togetherness can bring positive change in the industry, both for artists, labels and rights holders alike. I have greatly enjoyed my short time previously on the AIM board, and also as an independent observer – but now I would like to roll my sleeves up and get involved as a board member. As an AIM board member I will strive to maximise every opportunity for our sector in an ever challenging market-place and to be part of a board that can collaborate to create progress. I believe that the independent sector should be protected, and should be an environment for new businesses and opportunities to spring from.

Joseph Hatch – General Manager, Distiller Music Group

A long standing member of the independent community, I am deeply committed to the ideological, advocacy outreach and ambassadorial intentions of AIM. I have held senior positions across the independent community within several organisations and worked very closely, strategically and creatively, with high profile artists, artist managers, publishers and labels. I currently hold the position of General Manager of Distiller Music Group, a music company with artist empowerment and development deep at its heart.

Across my work in the independent community I have been committed to the themes of ‘lifelong learning’ both in terms of dedicating one’s work to betterment in learning; but also, in the idea of learning being a progressive and continually evolving idea. I believe that conversation and discourse can bring positive change through knowledge. I have a strong understanding of the live community, having spent six years working across very high profile festivals. I am deeply passionate about the problems that face touring artists in the post-Brexit landscape and hope to add to this ongoing discussion. I understand, and share, some of the frustrations in the conversation around streaming royalties. I understand what the landscape looks like for breaking artists and the many pitfalls and problems that most artists face.

Fundamentally, I believe in supporting artists, empowerment through the community and the importance of shared experience. I hope to be able to bring a wealth of knowledge and a slightly different view point from time to time.