Label founder Tony Ereira took the time to tell us all about his vinyl singles club ‘Come Play With Me’, 7” singles club and social enterprise company based in Leeds. They have so far released singles from the likes of Harkin (Sleater Kinney, Wild Beasts), ZoZo, Magic Mountain (Members of Pulled Apart By Horses, Grammatics & Menace Beach), Fizzy Blood, Team Picture and Her Name is Calla among many others as well ‘Come Play’ a collection of 26 tracks, re-workings and remixes from some of West Yorkshire’s best artists which featured Wild Beasts, Napoleon IIIrd and The Wedding Present at the end of 2017. 

Tony Ereira lets us know how you can get involved, and how you can get set up your own record label and singles club.

Could you tell us a bit about Come Play With Me (CPWM) and the 7″ Singles Club that you’ve launched?

Yes, we’re a social enterprise that tries to support people into sustainable careers in music. One of the first projects has been our singles club and we’ve just released the 9th 7” from Mansion Of Snakes and Brooders. The 7’s are deliberately across all genres and designed to look as well as sound great! We mainly release from emerging artists that excite us but we slip in the occasional more established name here and there!

How difficult was this to set up? What is the process like to kicking off a label and your own releases?

Very. Luckily I have another label so had a lot of relationships with pressing plants, distributors, stores, press etc. But it would be a lie to say it’s easy – and working with upwards of 30 different artists last year (we did a compilation CD ‘Come Play’ too) makes it even more challenging!

If someone was to ask you for some advice on setting up their own singles club, what three tips would you give them?

Be clear about:
1. Why you’re doing it and what’s your USP: what’s special / different about your singles club and the others?
2. How you’re going to identify the artists you work with. Are you focussing on one genre/scene?
3. Who’s paying for it as the upfront costs for pressing vinyl are still pretty prohibitive.

CPWM isn’t just an assortment of music, but it’s a social enterprise providing events promoting diversity in the music industry and provides a mentoring scheme for upcoming musicians in West Yorkshire. What is the mentoring scheme like, and how do you think it benefits the musicians? It’s great to see a support network like this in an industry many can find themselves overwhelmed in.

We found so many people working in music (not just musicians) who have bags of talent and ideas but often need a bit of support in just getting things off the ground of plugging a gap they are struggling with. This could be simple advice from someone a bit further down the line in their career who’s been there and done it or some specific advice on a key aspect of the music industry like PR, publishing etc. We’ve worked with over 15 individuals or bands so far and it’s gone incredibly well with a few success stories starting to bear fruit.

Do you have any events focused on diversity coming up for us to shout out to our readers?

Yes we’re looking to follow last year’s Women In Music and LGBTQ The Music events with similar events in the summer and autumn. We’ll get details over to you ASAP as we’re just finalising plans now. We screened the European premiere of a brilliant Canadian film about women in electronic music called Amplify Her on International Women’s Day last month with Leeds College Of Music and will be looking to get that a broader platform as it’s a really inspirational film.

We’re also planning an all-dayer celebrating women in music later this year…more to follow!

Soon to launch is the Brooders/Mansion of Snakes split single, with an awesome launch happening at Hyde Park Book Club on April 6th. How did a jazz single and a rock track end up together? They’re both amazing tunes, it’s an interesting way to format two lots of amazing but contrasting local talent.

We always knew that mis-matching tracks on a 7” would upset some people. 7”s aren’t cheap so it’s good to know that if you buy one because you like one side/artist, there’s a good chance that you’ll like the other too. Being contrary though we just wanted to showcase the best music coming out of this part of the world and always said we would work with the best two tracks that were selected and if they ended up being different genres like this one, that’s what we’d go for. We’re appealing to folks with eclectic taste into great music who don’t care about putting their music in neat silos!

How would musicians get involved with CPWM and your singles club?

The best way to get onto a release is to look out for one of our submission call-outs. We’ve just closed one that we’re going to have a fairly high profile selection panel judging at this year’s Unconference in Leeds. Failing that come along to one of our gigs and talk to one of the team. We’re friendly!

What other releases do you have coming up this year, can we expect another large collection of tracks to be released? And are there any other CPWM we should be keeping an eye out for in 2018?

We’ve got a bunch of singles coming in quick succession between April and June because of a pressing plant malfunction – a total of 4/5 more 7”s will be coming this year with one hopefully a split with another label from a country a few thousand km away!

There will be another compilation CD – late this year or early 2019 and we’ve got a great little EP coming in a couple of weeks that was recorded at the iconic Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds. Loads more gigs, loads more of everything! Give us a follow on our socials and if you want to see more of this, receive the 7”s before they hit the shops and have a few pennies to spare, check out our Patreon campaign.

Interview with Tony Ereira, founder of Come Play With Me.

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