The HU now has something in common with Celine Dion and Herbie Hancock. They share the “Artist For Peace” title as designated by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
On 25 November, the Mongolian folk-rock act was given the honor at a special ceremony in Paris at UNESCO’s headquarters. Notably, The HU are the first rock or metal act to receive the prestigious acknowledgment.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay visited the troupe in their native Mongolia in August and remarked on the band’s “contribution to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and their support for the promotion of cultural diversity through music,” per a press release. “These are qualities which resonate with UNESCO’s values and work.”
Band leader Gala said of the honor, “Mongolians have upmost respect for our history, culture and the language that was left to us from thousands of years ago from our elders and ancestors. … The HU’s goal and purpose is first and foremost to perform a unique genre of music that gives strength and power upon every listen. Secondly, it is to show the world Mongolia’s nomadic and environmentally aware livelihood that has been passed down from previous generations and to inspire others to live minimalistic lives and enjoy life to its fullest.”
As an “Artist for Peace,” The HU will help raise awareness of UNESCO’s platform and promote its values and objectives at upcoming events, all in the name of making positive change, much like the band does through their music. (“HU” is the root word for human being in the Mongolian language.)
Their latest honor follows previous distinguished titles including being named the Cultural Envoy of Mongolia in 2019 and, in 2020, becoming the first group and 12th overall recipient of the highest state award in Mongolia, the Order of Genghis Khan.
It’s been a big year for The HU. In addition to making their debut at Coachella, the act had a headlining trek across North America and supported Five Finger Death Punch and Megadeth on other dates. As well, their second album Rumble of Thunder with explosive track “This Is Mongol” was released in July; a deluxe version is forthcoming in summer 2023.