Lena Waithe has teamed up with Def Jam Recordings to launch a new record label aimed at developing underrepresented artists.
The actor and writer is launching Hillman Grad Records and said in a statement that she feels “music and storytelling” go hand in hand.
“And I think that’s because musicians are the storytellers we love the most,” Lena explained. “They can take complex emotions and simplify it in four minutes, the same artist can sing about the revolution and falling in love. Music is a part of us. It’s so often connected to our fondest and sometimes our darkest memories. Musicians tell our story.”
“At Hillman Grad Productions we believe in identifying and amplifying new talent, and we want to continue to do that in the music industry. (Interim Def Jam Recordings CEO) Jeff Harleston and his phenomenal team at Def Jam have given us their trust and their resources to help develop artists that not only have potential but staying power. We look forward to the journey ahead.”
Waithe’s team also includes music executives Tebs Maqubela, who previously worked at Columbia Records and Albert Cooke – formerly of Island Def Jam and SoundCloud.