The Hu; they just might be the biggest band you’ve probably never heard of. Despite that, they’ve arrived. Locally, you can hear them on KLOS or TNN RADIO on KX FM, otherwise, this may be that band you get to check out before everyone else does.
With 179k fans on Instagram, 402k FaceBook followers over 76 million YouTube views, they also have a No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hard Rock Digital Song Sales. Not to mention a featured song on the video game Star Wars Jedi; Fallen Order. They also have another song to be featured in the upcoming horror film The Retaliators.
So what’s different about this band? First, they have an incredibly unique rocking sound, it’s just different from what we’re all used to hearing. AND, their lyrics are overwhelmingly in Mongolian. With their bone crushing, and soul-piercing sound, it’s a wonder they aren’t on everyone’s’ playlist.
There’s the skinny on this band, The Hu is a Mongolian heavy metal band that was formed in 2016. They pair hard rock with traditional Mongolian instruments including the Morin khuur, Tovshuur (don’t worry, I couldn’t pronounce them either) and Mongolian throat singing.
The band’s name is inspired by the Hunnu, an ancient Mongolian empire, known as The Huns in western culture. Some of the bands lyrics also include traditional Mongolian war cries and poetry. They often pay homage to their ancestry such as in their hit “The Great Chinggis Khaan.”
Their single, Yuve Yuve Yu was released in October of 2018 and now has over 13.8 million plays! Their full-length album, The Gereg, came out in September 2019 that included this catchy yet very different sounding song.
Just two months later they were awarded the highest state award for Mongolia, the Order of Genghis Khan, for promoting culture around the world. To ride this wave of success, The Gereg (Deluxe Edition) was released just a few days ago.
A featured song on The Gereg (Delux Edition) is “Wolf Totem.” This song is drawing attention to the Hu. This music video features guest vocalist Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, the response worldwide has been extremely positive. With the success this band is achieving, and the fact that they do most of their songs in their native tongue; it’s brought a new sense of national pride.
This past Fall, The Hu went on their first American tour gathering more worldwide fans with each city they played.
So why are they so different? It’s the art of Mongolian throat singing that mesmerizes us. This process is a mixture of husky chanting and low growling (which surprisingly isn’t bad for you) and it actually a beautiful craft. The technical ability to turn this sound into a charming illustration for lyrics is something that must be practiced like any instrument.
The Hu front man Gala says, “Although we sing about Mongolian culture and history, our message itself is very universal. We’d like to remind [our fans of] the importance of showing gratitude to your parents, loving your homeland, protecting nature, loving and respecting women, respecting your history and ancestors… We want people all around the world to be united and stand against injustices.”
Mongolian heavy metal may not normally be your thing, but The Hu is well worth the listen. It’s not like anything you’ve ever heard before and it’ll keep you listening through every transition wondering what you will hear next. They prove that music is a universal language and can connect everyone.
Collectively, The Hu is electric and their sonic vision crosses many barriers. For that, much respect to the band. The members include Galbadrakh Tsendbaatar aka “Gala” – Morin Khuur, Throat Singing, Nyamjantsan Galsanjamts aka “Jaya” – Tumur Khuur, Tsuur, Throat Singing, Enkhsaikhan Batjargal aka “Enkush” – Morin Khuur, Throat Singing, Temuulen Naranbaatr aka “Temka” – Tovshuur, Backing Vocals, Touring Members include: Jambaldorj Ayush aka “Jamba” – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Nyamdavaa aka “Davaa” – Bass, Backing Vocals, Unumunkh Maralkhuu aka “Ono” – Percussion, Tumur Khuur, Backing Vocals and Odbayar Gantumur aka “ Odko” – Drums.
Like The Cure or The Smiths were back in the 80s, this may turn out to be a band that defines what cool and meaningful music is all about in this millennium.