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New prize launched for underrepresented artists in South Yorkshire

Judges for a new Elephant Arch project include Self Esteem and former Lord Mayor Magid.

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A new project is hoping to give a platform to unsigned and unrepresented musicians in South Yorkshire.

Elephant Arch Records, with support from Launchpad, are taking submissions from local musicians who identify as either LGBTQIA, female or people of marginalised genders, deaf or disabled, or from Black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds.

The winner will get a physical release with Elephant Arch, including track mastering, artist mentoring and a PR campaign, as well as a photoshoot and a chance to appear on a panel talk with the judges.

"We have incredible talent but we don't get the support and backing like other large cities get," judge Magid Magid, author and former Lord Mayor, told Now Then.

He went on to emphasise the village-like feeling of Sheffield being perfect for this project.

"Strangers matter in Sheffield, because sooner or later it becomes clear that there aren’t really any," he said. "We all know someone who knows someone who knows the person we now think of as a stranger."

Other judges include Finn Warman of Andro and Eve, along with Rebecca Taylor – better known as Self Esteem – a former member of Slow Club.

Submissions can be in any style of music and the project is open to artists living across South Yorkshire. The deadline for entries is 22 February.

“Since setting up the label and really paying attention to local artists, it has become really evident to us that while there is a great music scene in Sheffield, there is a disparity in the amount of marginalised and non-marginalised breakthrough artists coming through,” said Ben Ward of Elephant Arch Records.

We couldn't be happier than to use our platform to help bridge that gap and give an opportunity to somebody from an under-represented background.”

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