Blu DeTiger's debut EP How Did We Get Here, is out now! We chat to the musician about the release, making the bass guitar cool again, going viral on TikTok and more.
Image: Sophie Hur
2020 saw the rise of TikTok, the social media platform that entertained us during isolation and created a number of viral trends, memes and superstars. But there was one viral sensation that stood out against the masses. Blu DeTiger took the platform by storm with her innovate and unique covers of hit songs, as well as some tutorials, all shining a light on her skills as a bass guitarist. Fast forward to 2021 and the musician has just released her debut EP, How Did We Get Here.
On her debut release, Blu DeTiger recalls on the freedom of pre-pandemic times, of being together in the club, holding each other close and sharing precious moments. There is a distinct New York vibe to the EP, serving as the soundtrack to a night out in the city. The EP features the singers latest single, the pop-funk anthem Vinatge, as well as her breakout hits, Figure It Out and Cotton Candy Lemonade. Fu sing together threads of funk within an indie-rock soundscape, How Did We Get Here has two main stars: DeTiger's vocal performance, and her incredible bass skills. Moving between club bangers and indie gems, each track is built upon captivating bass lines, with DeTiger's vocals mesmerising listeners from start to finish.
A New Yorker through and through, the singer began playing the bass guitar at the age of seven. By the time she was 17, she behind the decks playing clubs and performing sets within the fashion and creative scene before loaning her bass talents, performing with a number of artists. Having been a touring member for multiple artists, including Caroline Polachek, Fletcher and The Knocks, the singer is taking centre stage and gifting the world with her own music.
How Did We Get Here is out now! Read our interview with Blu DeTiger below.
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...
I started playing bass when I was 7 years old. My first show was at the legendary CBGB (I was still 7). It was a tribute show to the Rolling Stones. Since then, I loved the bass and performing and was always playing music. When I was 17, I started DJing and producing. I always brought my bass to my DJ sets and shredded over the tracks I was spinning. I also started touring as a bass player for different artists. I DJed all over NYC (as well as internationally), played every gig I could, went on tour, and then finally started releasing music. Even though I had been writing songs on my own and contributing creatively to different musical projects, I hadn’t publicly released any songs for my own artist project yet. I finally put out music in 2019, went on tour as my own artist, and just as I was about to embark on some more tours, the pandemic hit. I started a Tiktok which introduced me to a lot of new fans and I’m so grateful for that. My song “Figure It Out” went viral, and I was on the radio for the first time too. And I got a chance to hunker down and work on writing, producing, and finishing this EP that’s out now!
Congratulations on your new EP How Did We Get Here!
You explore a variety of themes and concepts on the release, with the tracks mostly recalling on the freedom of pre-pandemic times. What prompted you to explore and document them within your music?
The big themes are New York City, nostalgia for pre-pandemic times, and reminiscing about these special fleeting moments. The abrupt disruption of physical social interactions suddenly filled me with yearning, craving, nostalgic feeling for almost everything. I wished I could get lost with someone, flirt with a random person on a roof at a party on Canal St., hear some disco club music from the room next door, bring a vintage boy around because we matched, etc...
The EP fuses together a variety of different sounds and genres, bringing influences of pop and funk. How did you arrive at creating the sonic sound of the EP?
I leaned into my influences and creative urges and I used the bass to create the movement in the songs.
How did the EP evolve and change as you were creating it, and were there any tracks left on the cutting room floor that you think might have a life in the future?
The EP started with Figure It Out and evolved from there. And there are a lot of cool ideas that I’ll definitely continue to work on for the next project. And even some newer stuff that I’ve made since then. I’m excited to keep putting stuff out!
You’ve released some great visuals throughout the EP’s rollout! How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track?
So important! The visuals can give the songs a whole new meaning, or explain something in a way that maybe the listener couldn’t get from just the audio experience.
There’s a whole generation out there who now think the bass guitar is cool again thanks to you! What made you want to pick up the instrument as a child, and what do you think is the coolest thing about being a bassist?
That’s so awesome! I love that there’s a whole army of new bassists out there! We’re gonna take over the world and I can’t wait. My brother was playing drums at the time, so I wanted to play an instrument too! I chose bass and just fell in love with it. I think the coolest thing is that it holds down the group or the piece of music - it grounds you.
If you had to pick one song off the EP to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which song would it be and why?
Probably Figure It Out. I would like to think it has all the elements of a Blu DeTiger song--groovy/hooky bassline, laid back vocals, fun lyrics, catchy chorus melody. A close second would be “Toast with the Butter” because there are some unique musical moments in it. I have a moving bass line that provides the emotional centre of the song, and after every chorus there’s this tempo change that almost comes out nowhere but feels so right.
What’s your favourite TikTok cover you’ve done, and was there any song in particular you were surprised with when it blew up?
I was surprised about this Russ cover I did. The song doesn’t have bass on it, so I made up my own part. I didn’t think too much about it, I just posted it and it’s been my most viral cover yet (8 million views and 2 million likes).
If How Did We Get Here was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be and why?
Mine would be the plexiglass studio walls that I make music in. My dad made this box type structure for another art piece but I ended up moving my studio set up in there. During the day the light shines through the different colored panels and it's kind of like making music in a giant kaleidoscope.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording this collection of songs?
It always comes from a groove standpoint. I very rarely start with a melody or lyric first. I always begin with a bass line and drum beat and pay particular attention to getting that groove feeling good, then I do melody and lyrics.
Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?
It definitely allowed me time and space. It gave me the ability to create with less pressure and more freedom.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? If any, what can people expect from one of your live shows?
I’ll be touring as soon as it’s safe to do so (I can’t say the specific dates yet)! The shows will have so much energy! A lot of dancing and hair flips.
My family, New York City, my bass
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Groovy, funky, dreamy
A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Euphoria the movie.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Honey by Robyn.
Best concert you have been to?
Beyonce at Madison Square Garden
Last concert you went to?
One I played! It was the Caroline Polachek show in London on March 12th.
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Live your truth and trust yourself.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
The first time I picked up the bass.