Upcoming Artist: Get to Know DJ Hu Dat
Kim Hu, better known by her stage name Hu Dat, is an emerging DJ and frequent staple of the New York City music scene.
Hu, originally from California, began to DJ while studying hospitality at Cornell. First just playing music for friends, Hu soon began DJing at college parties and eventually made the move to pursue a career in NYC a year after her graduation, she shared in an interview with Snobette. Now, around five years later, Hu is one of the most sought-after rising DJs in the industry, having worked for the likes of Doja Cat, Megan thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, DaBaby, and Chief Keef.
“I think people don’t expect me to be a DJ that opens for rappers,” Hu told Snobette. “I’ve shown up to venues and a lot of times the response is like ‘What are you doing here?’ And I then have to then introduce myself as the DJ. I have to prove myself.”
As Hu’s talent continues to be recognized, she has branched out into managing artists of her own. “It was natural.” she says of the transition from performer to manager. “I’m so passionate about music. I never wanted to be just a DJ. I want to work on various aspects of the music industry…As a DJ you’re also an A&R always looking for the next best artist.” Citing Soundcloud as one of the many places she discovers new acts.
Hu’s place in the music scene and love of exploring new artists allows her to find undiscovered talent to manage and fresh music for her mixes. “A lot of label A&Rs tap into me,” Hu told DailyChiefers, “they really trust my ear and they see I’m actually in the streets, it’s funny cause like they’re more in the office, focused on analytics and I’m more out there in the streets. So it’s like a different type of A&R for sure”
An Asian-American woman in a very male dominated genre, Hu knows the importance of representation and has taken steps to use her growing platform to promote new artists. “I love helping people with my resources and my connections. I really believe in my artists. For me, it’s about focusing on the back end of their business so that they can focus on their artistry.”
In addition to her managing career, Hu hosts a monthly showcase called “Bad Girls Club” that helps promote new female artists. “There’s so few women in the scene still and especially as an Asian female, I know I have to bring it. I strive to do whatever I can to bring more female power in the game.” Through managing and showcasing new talent, Hu is able to use her success to foster and elevate her own community in the music world.
In light of COVID, the nightlife Hu usually plays and the events she hosts are all now largely on pause. Hu has spoken about the uncertainties that come with these closures, as her career and the careers of those she manages rest largely on playing these shows. Back in March, Hu discussed the loss of New York’s nightlife with Vanity Fair, sharing “It’s still really uncertain when everything will pass and when it’s okay to have gatherings again…it was already hard as is making money as a freelancer.” In the meantime though, Hu is staying busy planning her upcoming mixtape, playing virtual shows, and preparing for her artists to release their debut EPs.