The Northern Music Awards have just announced their ground-breaking first Industry Icon as they continue to spotlight the best of Northern music.

Set to take place at Manchester’s landmark new arts, music and culture space, Aviva Studios, the inaugural NMA Awards is the first of its kind award show spotlighting Northern music. 


As shortlists and longlists are announced, and opened up to public voting, we see the first Industry Icon Award well earned by Michael Adex, the founder and CEO of NQ. On the 30th of November, Adex will receive the prestigious award as recognition of his contribution towards promoting emerging musicians, including north Manchester’s own Aitch.


NQ is renowned for showcasing musical talent from the North, with the management, label and publishing arms having surpassed three billion streams and eight platinum certifications since Adex founded the company back in 2017. Adex also created NQ legacy, a not-for-profit organisation to help young Northern creatives explore careers in music and the creative arts sectors. Speaking on his acknowledgement in showcasing the vibrant culture of music outside of London, Adex shares, “It is a great feeling to be recognised by the Northern Music Awards as their first Industry Icon.” He continues, “There is so much amazing, diverse talent in the North and I’m proud that NQ is playing a part in letting the world know about it.”

Also announced was the shortlist for Inspiration Venue of the Year, which finds spots from Hebden Bridge’s lively Trades to Birkenhead’s own Future Yard celebrated for their platforming of rising artists. The longlist for the North’s Favourite Festival of the Year is up, too, with public voting encouraged to help decide which British fest takes top spot.


Nominees and winners are still to be announced in categories from the Northern Music Award, Breakthrough and Newcomer to Best Artist, Band of the Year, DJ of the year, and Disruptor. Nordoff and Robbins, the music therapy charity that founded the awards, will also be teaming up with the Greater Manchester Music Commission for the Music and Culture for Wellbeing award, dedicated to recognising outstanding arts provision in the North. 


Merseyside-to-the-world’s Melanie C will headline the performance-packed show, which aims to raise money to fund the opening of a new Nordoff and Robbins music therapy centre in Salford, with Radio 6’s Chris Hawkins as host. 


Each year, the NMAs will be headed to a different Northern city to honour artists, festivals, venues, and industry figures from the region. To catch the best of Manny at 2023’s fete, simply sign up for early bird tickets at Nordoff and Robbins’ site – and to have your all-important say with your favourite festival, head here.

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