Posted by: Maddie Chaudron
Blu DeTiger is a DJ from New York. Her combination of bass and turntables create a new twist on a typical DJ set. She incorporates old and new tracks for the audience to jam out to as well as playing some of her own music. On February 14th, she opened for and played with The Knocks at Concord Music Hall. Before the show, we were able to chat with her about her music career and her first official tour.
Maddie: So what can we expect from your set tonight?
Blu DeTiger: It’s a lot of different genres. I’m performing my own songs mixed in with songs that people know so it’s a DJ set. But I play live bass and I sing as well so it’s kind of like a modern take on a DJ set. This is the first time I’m playing my own songs in a DJ set so this whole tour has been that first experience for me.
M: What made you decide to pick up bass?
B: Basically, my older brother was playing drums at the time. He’s three and a half years older than me so naturally, as a younger sibling I was like “I want to play an instrument too!” So I chose bass which is funny because no kid chooses that instrument but I remember thinking that guitar was too mainstream and we went to guitar center and I told my parents that it was too mainstream and that I wanted to play bass. It was really ridiculous because I was only like seven years old. Now I play guitar and piano but I’m really glad that I chose that as my first instrument.
M: How did you get your start DJing?
B: So I was going around New York just playing bass for other bands but my dad is a visual artist so we always had turntables and records around our house and I just kind of picked it up one day and always thought DJing was a really cool form of art. I started doing it when I met this guy who mentored me and taught me his way of DJing. I played at one party and then got hired to play at another party and kinda just got into it like that. I was around seventeen.
M: Have you always incorporated bass into your DJ sets?
B: My first DJ set ever which was at this club called Elvis Guest House in New York (it’s really cool but it’s closed now) and that gig, I brought my bass. I always thought “hey I’m really into DJing, so why don’t I combine my two passions?” It got a really good reaction from the crowd so I kind of just kept doing it.
M: What are the greatest influences on your music?
B: Musically, I grew up playing funk and disco. That’s where I found my love for my instrument because the best bass players are funk bass players. That’s what my heart was into the most. Nile Rodgers & Chic is OG disco. I learned every Chic bass line. I also love Cameo and Zapp which is more eighties funk. When I started DJing I got more into house music so there’s definitely some influence from that too.
M: So you’re from New York. How has the city influenced your music?
B: The city’s the coolest because you can literally hear anything. It’s everywhere. Not just musically, but also energy-wise. The hustle of New York is definitely where I get a lot of my influence from.
M: What is your favorite venue to perform or enjoy a show at in New York?
B: It changes. The most fun ones are the underground/warehouse shows. It’s cool because the people aren’t just there for the name. They’re there to have fun. I play the most at this place called Public. It opened recently but a lot of my friends play there so I try to go to support and we have a lot of fun there.
M: So this is your first tour. How is it going so far?
B: This is my first tour playing my own music. It’s going so well. I’m having the best time. It’s crazy that I get to play the music that I’ve written. It’s such a different experience putting your own voice out there. I mean, I love playing for other people as well. On this tour, I get to open with my own stuff and then come out later and play with The Knocks. It’s the best of both worlds. I’m having the best time.
M: What has been your favorite venue on tour?
B: So we went to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s the coolest places. It’s this art installation gallery that’d also a venue. We had the venue the whole day to soundcheck so we had the whole place to ourselves. I took mad photos. We had a three-hour photo shoot. I also loved Seattle because the crowd was great and I also just love Seattle as a city.
M: I heard you had a little injury in Denver, how is your foot doing?
B: Oh my god. It’s doing better. We had these drum risers and there are some moments where I step onto the drum riser where I have a solo. I always wear four-inch heels. I like to be tall. I went to step down and I tripped on my cable and fell to the ground. It didn’t hurt much in the moment because you know adrenaline. But after backstage, I was hoping no one saw and then the band was like “Oh no Blu no one saw, you’re okay.” But then people were tweeting at me asking if I was okay. People definitely saw. I’m waiting to see the video footage.
M: I know you recently released ‘In My Head’ but can we expect any more new tracks from you soon?
B: Yes. My next song is coming out March 8th, mark your calendars. It’s called ‘Mad Love’. I’ve been performing it every night so you’ll hear it.
M: Besides your show tonight, do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day in the Windy City?
B: Yesterday I was with my friend at a restaurant and I was wearing Knocks hoodie and this waitress said “Oh I love the Knocks, that’s so cool that you’re touring with them. Turns out she’s hosting this karaoke night here so I think we are going after the show. That’s what I love about touring. This stuff happens all the time. I’m excited for karaoke because it’s great practice for being on stage.
You can check out more from Blu DeTiger on her webpage HERE