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Blu Detiger Talks Northern Japan, Disco-Funk, & Her Go-To Subway Song

Blu Detiger is far ahead of the curve. This NYC native gives new meaning to the word DJ by weaving live bass into her disco-funk set. Using the tracks as her canvas, Detiger skillfully improvises bass-lines to create her own sound, right in front of the audience. Armed with her glittering custom blue bass, white patent leather boots and laptop, Detiger has DJ-ed practically every club in New York, including House of YES and the Good Room. Her skill and style have also caught the eye of multiple publications and tastemakers; people start to listen when Vogue labels you the “coolest DJ around”. And that’s not all; in addition to DJ-ing and going on tour, Detiger currently writing and producing her first solo project. We sat down with Detiger to talk that show-stopping bass, her current inspirations, and DJ gigs in snowy northern Japan.

Go-to subway song?

Whatever song I’m shredding at the moment. Right now it’s “777-9311” by The Time.

When did you start playing the bass?

I started playing when I was seven years old.

What do you think is best song to play on a bass?

It changes every day. The best song to play is the music I’m connecting with most. It can be a song I’m practicing or a new bass line I’m working on.

We know you DJ too, how did the two come together?

It was very natural for me, as a bass player and a musician, to play bass with my DJ sets. But in order to do that, I had to treat DJing as a different instrument and really practice that. Since I play bass live while I’m spinning, most of what I do is improvised on the spot. That means I had to practice a slightly different way of playing bass too—or at least a different mentality with the instrument—so that the music could flow and feel good. I also feel that playing bass with my DJ sets is a way to further connect to the music I’m spinning, the audience, and myself. It also allows me to react in real time to any musical impulses I may have.

What’s been your weirdest gig so far? And your favorite?

It wasn’t exactly “weird” per se, but DJing on Christmas Eve in the mountains of snowy Northern Japan was definitely different, challenging (but in a good way!), and super fun. I was on the other side of the world (from my usual perspective) with a very international crowd. George Michael’s “Last Christmas” brought the house down.

You can play alongside one person on stage… who is it?

I can’t really say one person but to play with any of my bass idols like Larry Graham or Meshell Ndegeocello would be an amazing experience. And of course I would have loved to play alongside the legends like Prince or Michael Jackson.

Favorite part of performing?

I absolutely love performing because I love being the messenger. I love being the one in that moment to let everything go and allow the music to flow through me for the audience. I love the challenge and the focus it takes to be a great performer. I love the rush of being onstage and feeling that very tangible connection, that push and pull, that energy conversation between me and the audience. Before any kind of performance I like to remind myself that any time you get to play music is a blessing!

What do you do when you’re not doing music?

Honestly, I’m usually always doing something related to music… I’m either practicing, performing, writing, in the studio, DJing, or at friends’ shows/DJ sets, etc. But if I happen to be taking a break, I like to play ping pong or just tune out and watch something on Netflix.

Best piece of clothing (or accessory) you own?

A good pair of boots are essential to my outfits!

Writing any music yourself?

Yes! I’m in the process of writing and producing my own music. Stay tuned!

What’s the next big goal for you in music?

My next goal is definitely to release new music that’s fresh, danceable, and represents me musically and emotionally.

Whats next! Let us know what we should be looking out for.

I have a lot more shows and other fun events coming up.  I’m going on tour in June, DJing a festival in England in August, and releasing music!

Images courtesy of Jasper Soloff

Stay tuned to Milk for more rising talent.

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