Hi there!

I'm Cherie Hu.

I'm an award-winning writer and researcher who specializes in analyzing, tracking and critiquing innovation in the global music business.

Broadly speaking, I define an "innovation" as a new product or methodology that bends or breaks the rules in a way that has tangible impact on a community. In the context of music-industry innovation, I'm particularly interested in the following questions:

  • Who is paying for music to reach the people it does today?

  • How could even the smallest tweak in technology or strategic thinking change the answer to that question?

  • Who will usher in that change, and why?

  • Who stands to win and/or lose from that change, and why?

My email newsletter, Water & Music, dives deep into these topics and reaches nearly 6,000 subscribers weekly, from budding artists and managers to C-Suite executives at major labels and tech companies. Occasionally, I host an interview podcast of the same name. Water & Music's Patreon members pay an average of $13/month to keep my newsletter and podcast independent and ad-free, as well as gain access to exclusive content, analysis and my wider research process.

I'm also a seasoned freelance writer and speaker, with bylines in Billboard, Forbes, NPR Music, Columbia Journalism Review, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Resident Advisor, Music Business Worldwide, Variety, DJ Mag and many other publications. I've spoken as an expert commentator on CNBC, CGTN America and SiriusXM; as a guest lecturer at institutions like New York University, Northeastern University and Berklee Valencia; and as a moderator, panelist or keynoter at over 25 conferences around the world.

Last but not least, I'm working on a book for Bloomsbury about the parallels between independent music careers and tech entrepreneurship, to be published in late 2021. My Water & Music Patreon membership also serves as the crowdsourced advance for said book.my book