As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine, Issue 8
Blu DeTiger is a young 20-year-old bassist from New York City who recently released her debut single “In My Head” produced by NYC electronic duo The Knocks (Carly Rae Jepsen, Foster The People, Big Boi). As for the inspiration behind the song, DeTiger says, “I’m always running around NYC doing a bunch of different things at once—I can never sit still. The song is about creativity and being really passionate about something you’re working on. The ‘beat that’s in my head’ means that feeling you get when you’re creating, and you just need to let it out.”
DeTiger has been playing bass since she was 7 years old. Not only does she play bass, but she also DJs and improvises live bass lines during her DJ sets. Besides music, her second passion is ping pong!
One of your first gigs was a Rolling Stones tribute show at CBGB. How did that experience set the stage for your future in music?
Performing is my passion, so it introduced that feeling for me really early in life. I remember I had a black Gretsch bass that I could barely hold up. It was bigger than me! I dressed up in some sort of ‘60s-70s outfit with bell bottom pants and fringe. I played bass on some tunes but I also sang “As Tears Go By.” I was 7 years old, so it’s difficult to know how aware I was of how it was affecting me, but I think that was the moment I knew I wanted to do music. I was never shy about being on stage after that, and I’ve pursued music since then. I went on to play so many shows, practice my instrument, start writing songs, DJ, and do all things music. I also think the legendary venue and the energy of the Rolling Stones rubbed off on me.
You compiled a list of 12 songs by female artists on Soundcloud for International Women’s Day. Tell us about some of the artists who inspired you.
I’m inspired by girls who aren’t afraid of being themselves. They just do them and don’t care what other people think. I have contemporary artists like Lizzo, Madge, Yaeiji, Robyn, etc. in that mix. I also believe in the power of dance music. If it can make you move, if the music vibrates with you, it can literally move you—not only physically, but emotionally, too. It can change the way you think and perceive things.
When did you get the urge to get involved in music, and what inspired you to choose the bass?
I grew up in a creative household and my parents always taught me to follow my passions. I started playing music when I was seven. My brother was playing drums at the time, and I wanted to play an instrument, too. At the time, I felt like everyone around me was playing guitar. I remember thinking guitar was so mainstream. I wanted to do something different, so I chose bass and never looked back. I grew attracted to the groove, the rhythm, the backbone of the music, and the purity of the bass.
What gear do you use?
I play a Fender Jazz Bass through an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 Head and Aguilar SL 410x cab. I love the new Aguilar SL series because the cabs are so lightweight. That’s very important for touring. When I do my own sets, I go direct into the amp without any processing because I prefer a clean tone throughout. When I play bass for other bands, I always have the following on my pedalboard: Octaver, Chorus, Big Muff distortion, Aguilar Filter Twin, Empress compressor, and more. Recently, I’ve been messing around with a Moog MF-101 Envelope Filter Moogerfooger, which is great when playing live bass in electronic music settings.
“In My Head” was your debut single released earlier this year produced by The Knocks, and you just released another single and video called “Mad Love.” What inspires your music, and how was it to record the video?
I take inspiration from everything around me: New York City, my family, my friends, the experience of touring and playing shows. Sometimes I start with how I’m feeling or the movement of the city, sometimes it’s a bass groove or a drum beat I make on Ableton, or sometimes I’m inspired by a certain aspect of a song I just heard and I roll with that. Shooting the “Mad Love” music video was so much fun! It was basically a dance party with all my friends in a club that I’ve DJed at. It captures my energy and essence and in a really fun way.