There I was, deep in a TikTok rabbit hole, when my husband—enveloped in his own endless #ForYouPage scroll—leaned over to show me a video. “You have to see this incredible bassist!” he says to me. It’s at this moment I’m introduced to Blu DeTiger, the NYC native with a penchant for groovy dance tracks and an unabashedly cool fashion aesthetic to match. She had my full attention.
To call DeTiger a newcomer would be selling the artist short. Before her single “Figure It Out” went viral on the video app and her nearly one million followers started begging her for covers of Prince, Rihanna, and Anderson .Paak, the 21-year-old was a force in New York’s underground music scene, energizing crowds with her pop-funk DJ sets and live bass performances. She also toured, playing bass for artists Fletcher and Caroline Polachek, among others. The emerging artist was successfully making a name for herself, but TikTok, being the mega artist launchpad it is, changed the game entirely.
While venues and clubs are still closed, DeTiger has been making the most of life in quarantine, writing and co-producing new music (don’t miss the video for her latest hit “Cotton Candy Lemonade”) and keeping up with virtual live performances in a snazzy studio setup she built herself. Not to mention, she continues to dish out look after look. I’m partial to her collection of sheer long-sleeve tees. With more music on the way, the artist connected with us to talk about this exciting chapter of her career, the TikTok creators on her radar, and some of her all-time favorite ‘fits.
You started playing bass guitar at 7 years old. What was the catalyst for picking up that particular instrument?
My older brother was playing drums at the time, so I naturally wanted to play an instrument, too. I remember thinking I wanted to be more unique and that guitar was “too mainstream.” So I chose bass! Now, I play guitar and other instruments, but I’m super happy that I picked up bass first.
What was the first song you learned on the bass?
“Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.
Are there any other female bassists on your radar?
There were a few I really looked up to when I was learning, and I still do. Tina Weymouth is a badass. I’m also a big fan of her band, Tom Tom Club, which has been a source of inspiration for my music for sure. I also love Meshell Ndegeocello. She’s one of the best bassists out there, and she can sing and play at the same time so effortlessly.
TikTok has become a springboard for many musicians, like Lil Nas X and Doja Cat, and earlier this spring, your single “Figure It Out” went viral on the app. What have been some exciting career moments to come out of that?
It’s been really amazing, and I’m so grateful with how everything has turned out. Hearing my song on the radio for the first time was really special. I’ve been able to meet some incredible creative people. Overall, it’s just allowed me to continue to make music and live my passion with the most freedom and opportunity.
Is there a TikTok trend you are partial to these days?
I feel like I pay attention to the trending songs more than the actual trends because I’ll often cover those ones.
Who are the creators you love to follow on the app?
Brittany Broski is hilarious. Ethan Fields makes some funny music-related TikToks. I love following all the talented guitarists and music producers on the app as well. There are so many creative people on the app.
You said your latest single, “Cotton Candy Lemonade,” which you wrote and co-produced during quarantine, taps into this idea of getting lost or running away right now. What is your dream escape at this moment?
During the early days of quarantine, I suddenly had nostalgia for the recent past. I was longing for pre-COVID times or even looking forward to a post-COVID time. My dream escape would be to go to a moment of peace and love and flow!
Speaking of quarantine, life in lockdown has forced a lot of us to think outside of the box in terms of how we approach creative projects. How have you personally adapted to the limitations?
In terms of writing and producing, it has helped me (in some ways) to be home and not have distractions. I’m usually always running around (DJing, playing shows, going to sessions, touring, etc.), so it’s given me a chance to focus on writing and producing on my own. A lot of the EP was made in quarantine, and all the songs were finished during this time.
In terms of performing, it’s completely different. I’ve had to take on the roles of musical director, video editor, lighting designer, and cinematographer for a lot of “at-home” pieces of content. It’s been busy and very DIY, but it’s been inspiring and fun to find new ways to engage with fans in a new kind of virtual performance setting.
Can we expect more music from you soon?
Yes! I’ll have another single soon and then a full EP :)
Tell us about your personal style and your journey with fashion over the years.
I feel like I’ve gone through a few different phases, but in general, I wear what makes me feel most confident, sexy, and cool—whatever makes me feel good and my best self.
How has growing up in the NYC music scene influenced your style?
I’m born and raised here, so I think it’s safe to say that it has influenced me completely. I wasn’t so much online looking at clothes and styles I liked. I dress how a New Yorker dresses and was influenced by people I saw on the street and out in the scene, as well as the general energy of people here.
I envy your collection of sheer long-sleeve tees. Can you tell us some of your favorite places to source them?
I feel like they come from all over! I always have my eyes and ears out for good sheer tops. Sometimes, I’ll find them at vintage stores in NYC or from cool up-and-coming designers.
It’s clear you love experimenting in the makeup realm, too, especially for your videos. Where do you get a lot of your beauty inspiration?
I like to experiment and switch it up and have fun trying new looks! A lot of my inspiration comes from the disco and rock ’n’ roll eras.