Up Close: Hollywood Independent Music Awards


HMMA and HIMA Founder Brent Harvey: Since launching his producing career at 15 with The Second Annual People’s Festival in his hometown of Anchorage AK, Brent Harvey has played numerous roles in the music industry, dedicating decades of his life to artist development, artist advocacy, talent booking, concert production, charitable fundraisers and many other events. As owner and founder of KBH Entertainment Talent Agency, he has produced hundreds of live music shows and supplied A-list talent (Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Earth, Wind & Fire, David Foster, et al) to fundraisers, film festivals and other special events. His passion for championing independent artists led him in 2009 to create the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, an awards showcase that has since filled a unique niche—honoring music specifically created for visual media, including film, TV and video games. 

Transition: Held at the Avalon in Hollywood for the last five years, the HMMAs evolved in a unique way, with the focus on the visual portion of the awards slowly relegating many of music categories to secondary status towards the end of the show. Famed nominees like Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat, and attendees like Danny Elfman, Olivia Rodrigo and Tom Hanks began edging out the indies the event was originally created for. Realizing he would have to move those categories into their own separate awards show, Harvey secured the trademarks and copyrights for a new event, aptly called the Hollywood Independent Music Awards (HIMA). He and his team put on their first HIMA event in August 2023 at the Avalon in Hollywood. 

 HIMAwards’ Founding Philosophy: Branded as the premier global platform for independent music, The Hollywood Independent Music Awards recognizes the outstanding contributions and content creation of emerging and established artists, songwriters, composers and studio recording professionals from around the world. More than simply an annual award show event, HIMAwards is dedicated to providing invaluable human resources, tools, education and opportunities to help artists develop successful careers. The bluntness of their full-page ad in MC says it all about the organization’s priorities: “We don’t give a shit how many streams or followers you have…is your music good?” Harvey says, “When I ask artists, which is more important, 5M casual views or 500 dedicated fans, it often stops them in their tracks. If you have true fans, you can build a career because they will support everything you do. I like to call HIMA an opportunity disguised as an awards show, because handing out hardware is one thing, but the most important thing for attending indie artists should be the connections and relationships they foster from the event.” 

Basics and Submissions for the 2024 HIMAwards: The 2024 HIMAwards take place at the Avalon on July 18. The submissions process began on Feb. 15. There are 40 categories, some of which will be presented in video packages at the event. Just as last year’s event had a special showcase for Afrobeats/Afropop, there will be a few categories outside of the mainstream this year. Submissions are reviewed by the HIMA PROTEAM, specialists in their domains who are all seasoned, no nonsense industry veterans who possess what Harvey calls the “three C’s”: character, class and credibility. Most of the selection committee members are also on his advisory board. Though Harvey is the titular head of HIMAwards, he gives all credit to his production team for pulling off the first and future award shows. “I’m the coach, they’re the stars,” he says. 

Contact Hollywood Independent Music Awards, 323-391-3903 

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