The Judging Process for AIM (Malaysian Music Industry Awards)

Just thought I’d share with you guys how the AIM judging system works, and also the role that the Head Judge (Ketua Juri) plays.

AIM LogoFor every category there are about 6 to 8 ‘judges’ who sit in a room to listen to all the submissions. These judges are experts in that given field. For example, the ‘Best Pop Song’ category might have people who are composers, lyricists, producers, artistes and Radio DJs; while the ‘Best Engineered’ award will basically be judged by sound engineers and possibly a few music producers too.

As you can imagine there are a lot of different people with a lot of different backgrounds, level of experience, and way of thinking… all sitting in the various rooms judging different AIM Award categories.

To add to the complexity of AIM judging, every Award has a different set of judging criteria that the judges have to give marks to.

So before the judging starts in every room the Head Judge will briefly explain every criteria to all the judges in that room. The Head Judge then leaves the room and stays out until or unless there is a problem or a point that needs clarification. For example, there was a query from the ‘Best Hip Hop Song’ room that a certain song was in the ‘wrong’ criteria because it was a Nasyid song. The Head Judge will then have to check if that was a mistake, and if not, to deliberate whether or not the Nasyid song qualified to be in the Hip Hop category.

Sometimes the Head Judge would also have to clarify and elaborate the various criteria used in some Awards. Example, what would ‘Effectiveness’ mean in the ‘Best Music Arrangement’ context. Or whether or not the suspected use of Autotune should affect the judging on ‘Best Vocal Performance’?!

I hope this clears up some misconceptions some may have about the AIM system and the role of the Head Judge. Do realize that AIM judging is different from other awards like AJL. It is a lot more tedious, technical and thorough.

Hence the very different role of the Head Judge which I personally think should be called ‘Keeper of the Rules’ , or something like that.

One of us didn't really do any judging. Guess who?
With the judges for one of the ‘Rooms’. One of us didn’t really do any judging. Guess who?

And no, the Head Judge aka ‘Keeper of the Rules’ does not give any marks for any AIM award. The role is a purely technical one.

If you took the time to read till the very end, thank you. In moving forward, I believe whoever is picked to be the AIM Head Judge aka ‘Keeper of the Rules’ should be someone who is still actively involved in the music industry (if you’re active you would probably have some nominated work, wouldn’t you?) and have the respect of all the judges involved.

Let’s continue to Make Music Real.

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