Sponsored by Amazon Music, AIM’s Outstanding Contribution to Music Award celebrates this most innovative singer, writer and performer whose extensive body of work continues to push boundaries and shape the genre while being a constant source of inspiration to new artists.
Róisín Murphy’s career is a master class in re-invention and integrity. Taking in blistering electronica, pop classics, high fashion and theatre she continues to challenge and enrapture fans making her the very worthy recipient of this year’s award.
In 2015, eight years on from her previous album, Murphy returned with the biggest left-field pop record of the year. Her highest charting solo album to date, the Mercury nominated Hairless Toys, was a remarkable feast of creativity and audio-visual delight via her new label home Play It Again Sam.
Her creativity given full reign, just one year on Róisín releases the companion album Take Her Up To Monto, already receiving plaudits from critics and occupying the 6Music playlist. This is an artist and icon truly making an outstanding contribution to music from the independent sector.
Previous winners of this award include Skepta, Richie Hawtin, Billy Bragg, Edwin Collins and Bjork.
Eccentric, super-producer Matthew Herbert started working with Murphy to create her solo debut, 2005‘s ‘Ruby Blue.’ Then it was onward to the 2007 follow-up, ’Overpowered.’ The jaw-dropping live show with its complex staging, choreography and astonishing costume changes pushed her performance to its limits. “I was knackered by the end of it and really needed to decompress.” She became pregnant in 2008 and took time out, only releasing a handful of tracks between her first child and her second who came along in 2012.
Then in 2014 a curve ball. An EP mainly of covers, all sung in Italian. ‘Mi Senti’ was a collaboration between Róisín, her partner Sebastiano Properzi and Eddie Stevens (a member of Moloko), it marked the beginning of a striking creative re-emergence and the following five week studio session with Stevens that delivered enough material for two albums.
First, 2015’s ‘Hairless Toys.’ Critically lauded, Mercury Prize nominated and sonically adventurous. The album tipped its hat to the dark disco of European house music, Casablanca Records and Grace Jones, while seamlessly taking in the freedom and organic spirit of jazz, country and gospel. “Pure, evocative elegance,” said The Guardian. “A remarkable comeback,” added NME. “A law unto herself,” agreed Q.
It’s this that defines the Róisín Murphy of 2016. ‘Hairless Toys’ served to ease her audience into this new phase of Murphy’s career, now she is hitting them full force with new album, ‘Take Her Up To Monto.’ Flights of disco fancy, dark cabaret, the sonorities of classic house and electronica, the joy and heartbreak of pure pop, torch song drama, it has everything Murphy’s always done – but seen afresh, accompanied by a series of self-directed videos. A one woman visual powerhouse responsible for carving her distinctly unique identity into every aspect of every thing she does. The studio, the live stage, the world of costume and fashion, now the world of film.
Murphy has never been an artist to stand still and in 2016, she is truly operating in her prime, commandeering every corner of her artistry with unified vision, style and forward-thinking grace.
Róisín Murphy will receive the award at the AIM Independent Music Awards ceremony at The Brewery in Clerkenwell on September 6th.
Check out Róisín’s extensive discography on Amazon Music here