The critically acclaimed and Emmy-award winning director, writer, and actor Lena Waithe – who has worked on projects like Queen & Slim, The Chi, and Master of None – announce this week that she is launching a new record label in collaboration with Def Jam Records. Waithe described the label, which is called Hillman Grad records, as an effort to support, identify, and “develop the next generation of underrepresented artists.”
“Music and storytelling have always gone hand in hand. And I think that’s because musicians are the storytellers we love the most,” Waithe said in a statement released with the label’s announcement. “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.”
While no artist signings were revealed with the announcement, Def Jam’s history and Lena Waithe’s artistic vision and talent make for a perfect collaboration. You can check out Waithe’s already existing Hillman Grad Productions here, which has served as a production company for marginalized voices and underrepresented people in the film industry.