A SHEFFIELD-BASED record label is calling for artists from underrepresented backgrounds from across South Yorkshire to showcase their musical talent for their first ever competition.

Launched by three friends in August, Elephant Arch Records’ aim is to support Northern music and give a platform to those who are ready to take the next step in their musical journey.

Soft Jocks, Elephant Arch Records

Alastair Flindall, co-founder and Brand Identity Lead at the label, said: “We wanted to find a way to grow our community.

“We want to get to know more people – those hiding behind the scenes, those who have just started or those who have given it a break and have not quite had their chance to break through.”

Even before Soft Jocks – their inaugurally-signed band – release their first EP in March, Elephant Arch is eager to develop even more local talent.

The contest, supported by Launchpad and Come Play With Me, presents the winners with the chance to win a plethora of prizes, including a digital PR campaign, a series of press shots, and a record contract.

After submissions close on February 22, the entries will be whittled down and presented to a panel of four well-known local personalities.

The shortlisted acts must convince Magid Magid, Christian Carlisle, Finn Warman, and Rebecca Taylor that they deserve the opportunity to take their art to the next level.

Explaining how Elephant Arch connected with these home-grown celebrities, Alastair added: “It’s the way Sheffield works! The more you ask about people and make connections, everybody seems to be in each other’s pockets.

“I just can’t wait to meet them all!”

Elephant Arch Records – Competition Prize

Supporting emerging talent, the local label is encouraging performers of any musical style to come forward and enter the contest.

They are only considering music from those whose background isn’t currently well-represented in the industry, including those who are disabled, of BAME origin, or people of marginalised genders.

This competition coincides with the UK’s 16th annual LGBT+ History Month, celebrated throughout February, and commemorates the abolition of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act.

Alastair said: “It’s brilliant that it’s running at the same time, but we’re not only focussing on that area within the outreach of who we’re looking for.

“All we’re asking for is a song. As long as you’re from one of those groups that we’re looking for, please send in your submissions!”