The HU is a Mongolian band which recently became the first Mongolian musical act to top a Billboard chart. Their music blends heavy metal with traditional Mongolian music, creating a harmonious amalgam of the east and west. The four-piece band, educated as professional musicians at the Mongolian State Music and Dance Conservatory, took the internet world by storm with its first two videos-“Yu ve Yu ve Yu” and “Wolf Totem” - which have around 100 million views to date. This quick recognition entailed them fame and collaboration offers, including with American company The Eleven Seven Music, home of recording artists Mötley Crüe and Papa Roach, among others.
The band’s most recent collaboration released in May 2020-“Song of Women”-with American artist Lzzy Hale led German Rock Antenne’s Top chart in September 2020. Leading international charts is not news to them as their song "Wolf Totem" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Digital Song Sales in September 2019. Simultaneously, their American record label internationally released the band’s first album Gereg, which is ancient terminology for a diplomatic passport from Chingis Khaan’s time. The band took off to its first international tour to perform in 33 US states, commencing in Minneapolis, again to become the very first Mongolian band to tour extensively in the United States.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented HU from becoming the first Mongolian band to perform at Coachella, followed by a second round of sold-out tours in the United States, they continue their presence in the American music industry. Their latest remix with Californian born musician Jacoby Shaddix is featured in the upcoming American horror movie Retaliators, while “Sugaan Essena” was played in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Their collaborations include other US based artists such as Danny Case of From Ashes to New.
US-Mongolian music exchange is by no means one-way. The US Department of State, Bureau of Education, and Cultural Affairs cooperated with the US Embassy in Mongolia to introduce Aberdeen (an NYC based rock brass band) to Mongolian audiences in 2019. This was achieved through the American Music Abroad (AMA) music diplomacy program to Mongolia as part of the US–Mongolia Year of Youth outreach campaign in May 2019.
Ganchimeg Ganpurev is a Research Intern in the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center. She is a rising second year MPA/ID student at Harvard focusing on macroeconomics and international development.