Morris Mills founded Strawberry Hill Records in 2016, the year that the music world lost the legendary Prince Rogers Nelson. That’s when it became painfully obvious to me that the music industry needed a new vision of a relationship between the artist and record label. My experience in the industry led me to conclude that the current business model is dysfunctional. That relationship is wildly unequal and leads to the exploitation of the artist at the hands of label executives. When Prince wrote the word ‘slave’ on his face, he was referencing a plantation style relationship between artist and label that prevailed in the industry when he was at the height of his musical powers and remains the industry standard more than five years after his untimely passing. Under this model, record labels retain a vice like grip on the products of the artist’s heart, soul, sweat and creativity long after the artist has repaid any investment made by the label. This should not be, and it is this unjust system that Strawberry Hill Records seeks to remake.
The mission of Strawberry Hill records is to be a safe haven where artists can express themselves fully and freely. We want to prove that artists and labels can coexist in a beautiful, mutually beneficial, and profitable relationship. A&R people saw something that touched them deeply when they witnessed the performance or heard the demo record that sent them back to the record label executive with an urgent message to sign this artist. The mission of Strawberry Hill Records – one from which we will never deviate – is to assist in facilitating, implementing and bringing the artist’s vision to life.
Strawberry Hill’s vision is nothing short of a total transformation and remaking of the artist/label relationship. This vision embraces the liberation of the artist through an equal artistic and business relationship. We will embrace a vision that returns to the old way of creating art which fuses with a new way of thinking and conducting business. In our vision, righteousness is as much a part of the music industry as the perfect beat. In our vision righteousness is a world where all come to the table to eat and the entire village will be fed and will prosper. In short, Strawberry Hill Records envisions a new heaven and a new earth.