The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) kicked off 2022 by launching the second year of BIMA, its Black Independent Music Accelerator, a fellowship initiative designed to amplify Black voices in the independent music community. Applications for A2IM’s 2022 BIMA Program will close on January 24, 2022. To apply, please visit a2im.org/bima.
“Black entrepreneurs have been the backbone of the music industry since the beginning of time. Allowing us to access the resources of counterparts, now opens doors to innumerable possibilities for creators that look, think, and dream like us,” shares Erinn Knight, President of Build Your Own Dreams and 2021 BIMA Fellow.
“The BIMA program has made me feel seen and reflected in an industry I have felt alone in for a long time. The ongoing offerings with industry service providers, and the experts in the BIMA program, have been helpful and educational. In addition, access to all the A2IM membership benefits have completely elevated and uplifted my indie label,” says Katrina Frye, Founder & CEO of Lauretta Records, also chosen as a 2021 BIMA Fellow.
The Black Independent Music Accelerator provides a platform for Black-owned businesses in the music industry, delivering greater visibility, networking, and mentorship opportunities for burgeoning business owners. “Being selected as a fellow in the inaugural BIMA program by A2IM opened so many avenues for us,” says Aliem Jumpp, Founder & CEO of SpacedOut Studios Entertainment.
Because financial barriers often pose significant obstacles for minority-owned, independent music businesses, BIMA offers subsidized yearly dues to A2IM, as well as offers complimentary tickets to annual events such as Indie Week, a four-day international conference and networking event aimed at maximizing the global impact of independent music.
As in 2021, BIMA’s Advisory Council will offer guidance, oversight, and support in 2022. Serving on the council will be Fotemah Mba, Head of A&R, General Market, Cinq Music Group; Courtnay Moriarty, Sr. Digital Rights Manager, Pex; and Kristine Mbadugha, Manager, Independent Music Partnerships, YouTube Music; with more names to be announced soon.
The inaugural BIMA program was sponsored by ADA, Amazon Music, Made in Memphis Entertainment, Spotify, EnterGain, Paperchain, Reach Records, Songtrust, Soundcloud, Taryn Brown + Company, TuneCore, Adrev, Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, Mad Decent, Materia Music, MERLIN, SoundExchange, Symphonic Distribution, Vydia and Xelon Digital. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship inquiries regarding the 2022-2023 program.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of nearly 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America's creative class that represents America's diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry's U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.