A2IM Announces Fellows For 2022 Black Independent Music Accelerator

March 3, 2022

Black entrepreneurs have been integral to the music industry throughout its storied history, yet they remain underrepresented in boardrooms and executive positions.

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization that represents nearly 700 independent music labels, strongly believes in the necessity of a diversity of voices in the music business.

With the ultimate goal of fostering a more equitable industry, the Black Independent Music Accelerator (BIMA) is a fellowship initiative designed to amplify Black voices in the independent music community.

Today, A2IM is pleased to announce the 14 outstanding fellows chosen for its second annual BIMA program.

A2IM’s 2022 BIMA fellows include Formation Creative, MuSample, CleerKut, Mission Road Sound, Aces Nation, Good Stuff, The Bassline Group, Lend Me Your Ear, Like The Singer Records, Family First Music Group, TEAM, SAY THX, Culture Villains, and 7000COILS.

BIMA’s thoughtfully-curated events and offerings deliver greater visibility, and create prime networking and mentorship opportunities for tomorrow’s powerhouse music executives and tastemakers.

“I am truly honored to have been selected to be a part of this year’s BIMA class,” said Patrice K. Cokley, Owner & Chief Strategist, The Bassline Group. “Independence has always been the future and I’m happy to be a part of an organization that not only champions independent music, but Black business owners who are being the change they want to see in the industry.”

“I am ecstatic to be part of this year’s BIMA Fellowship Program awarded by A2IM,” said Mario “King” Lyte, Founder & CEO, Aces Nation. “This opportunity is a true testament of Aces Nation and A2IM’s shared mission of leveling the playing field for independent Black professionals in the music industry.”

A2IM is also pleased to announce the 2022 BIMA Advisory Council, which includes Fotemah Mba, Head of A&R, General Market, Cinq Music Group; Courtnay Moriarty, Sr. Digital Rights Manager, Pex; Kristine Mbadugha, Manager, Independent Music Partnerships, YouTube Music; Henoch Moore, Creative Director and A&R for NA, Warp Records; Madeline Nelson, Head of Indies, Amazon Music; Taryn Brown, Founding Principle, Taryn Brown & Co.; Marcus Hollinger, SVP of Marketing, Reach Records; Rachel White, Director, Social Marketing & Community Engagement, Sub Pop Records; and Omega George, Vice President Marketing, Label Relations & Strategic Partnerships, MNRK Nashville.

“I’m joining the council because I am passionate about amplifying anti-racist efforts within the music industry,” said White. “BIMA’s initiative removes barriers to entry and provides one-on-one industry mentorship for Black-owned businesses, which is an invaluable step towards equitable access.”

Moriarty also expressed her enthusiasm about BIMA’s return for 2022. “After being involved with BIMA’s inception, I’m so excited that it’s continuing into a second year,” she said. “Seeing this program get closer to achieving its original vision is so inspiring and I can’t wait to meet the next group of fellows.”

“I’m joining the council because I am passionate about the progression of Black-owned businesses within the music industry,” said Mbadugha. “BIMA is an impactful initiative founded on the principle of amplifying black voices and I want to support that.” 

Sponsors of the 2022-2023 BIMA program are as follows: Justice Sponsors – ADA; Equity Sponsors – DistroKid, Made in Memphis Entertainment, Materia Music, Paperchain, Reach Records, Taryn Brown + Company; Balance Sponsors – Mad Decent, Merlin, Songtrust, Symphonic Distribution, and Vydia. Contact sales@a2im.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.

The organization’s board of directors comprises: Tony D. Alexander – Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME) LLC, Marie Clausen – Ninja Tune, Mariah Czap – Yep Roc, Steven Hill, Warp Records, Heather Johnson – Ninety9lives, Lisa Levy – Robbins Entertainment, Martin Mills – Beggars Group, Louis Posen – Hopeless Records, Darius Van Arman – Secretly Group, Zena White – Partisan Records, and Vic Zaraya – Concord. 

To learn more, visit: https://a2im.org/bima

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