Perfect Pitch: Kristina Hu
Founder, CEO, A Cappella Singer
Current City: Los Angeles, CA.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-founder & CEO at Candoor (“candid conversations that open career doors”).
Notable Prior Jobs: Worked at Uber pre-IPO in their international markets (Europe, Middle East & Africa) from 2017-2020.
When I Started Performing: Age 4 (1999) – classically trained pianist.
Performing Arts Background: At age 15, I launched a YouTube channel to share piano covers of Top40 and electronic music with the world. While I loved the piano, I was fascinated by how technology was reshaping music production and tastes, and I noticed there was a gap between these disparate genres and instruments. Seeking to bring a classical twist to the modern music scene, I channeled inspiration from my favorite composers Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Debussy – and launched TheUnsungHeroine. Since 2011, my channel has attracted more than 120,000 subscribers, 20 million video views, and earned shoutouts on Imagine Dragons', Adventure Club's, and Flux Pavillion's official Facebook pages. TheUnsungHeroine culminated in 2015, when I published “Electronic Dance Covers” (an album of my most popular covers) to Spotify, iTunes and other streaming platforms. As I grew older, I realized that I could have a greater impact as an artist by scaling my passion and giving voice to others. In college I served as President of the Harvard Lowkeys, one of the college’s premier co-ed contemporary a cappella groups. Over the four years, I arranged more than a dozen arrangements by ear, curating each voice part to fit the unique voices of each member in our group. This experience taught me that the joy of performing is even greater when it is shared, and that there is no greater joy than working in a diverse team to share our harmonies with the world.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? TheUnsungHeroine was my first experience as an entrepreneur. From identifying market gaps to launching an “MVP” to managing my own marketing, operations and finances, this experience was a crash course into the hard skills required to launch a company. In particular, it gave me the courage to put myself out there in front of millions of people, as well as develop the grit and “customer obsession” to continue practicing and perfecting my craft by iterating on user feedback. As I transitioned into college and a cappella, I realized that my passion and expertise in music was much more impactful when used to empower others – and thus began my training into the “soft skills” required to become an effective leader. Some of the most valuable leadership lessons I have learned come from my time in a cappella: the importance of listening to others, being an empathetic servant leader to my fellow performers both on- and off-stage, and giving every member of our diverse group the opportunity to showcase their unique voices to our audience. As the co-founder & CEO of Candoor, I aspire to bring the lessons I learned from performing arts to level the playing field in access to opportunity. When it comes to career progression, “who you know” matters – yet, not all networks are created equal; this Network Gap disproportionately disadvantages people from underserved backgrounds who are already underrepresented in high-paying careers. Candoor was created to give every talented candidate an equal chance at economic opportunity. By providing them with the social capital and confidence to thrive in their careers, we aim to give everyone a platform to find their voice, showcase their talents to a supportive audience, and shine.
Favorite Performer: Pentatonix.