TikTok’s Favorite Artist, Blu DeTiger, Wants to Make the Bass Cool

The singer and bassist spoke to Jezebel about collaborating with Chappell Roan, calling Flavor Flav a fan, and making the bass cool.

EntertainmentMusic
TikTok’s Favorite Artist, Blu DeTiger, Wants to Make the Bass Cool

On a recent Saturday night at one of New York’s most beloved lesbian bars, I found myself talking with a woman in her late 30s who’d just come from what she deemed “her favorite concert” to date. Speaking solely in non-sequiturs and sudden proclamations, she went on and on about the production, the raw talent, and the epic bass riffs. So taken was she that even after we’d run out of things to talk about, I overheard her telling the same story to a fellow barfly.

“For someone that young, she was just incredible,” I heard the woman repeat. Days later, I spoke to the artist in question and less than two minutes into our conversation, I couldn’t resist relaying the story.

“Shut up! Wait, that’s sick,” Blu DeTiger exclaims, before probing for more details. The 26-year-old New York native is particularly curious how—and with whom—her blend of heavy bass and indie pop is resonating. After an acclaimed EP in 2021 and some recent TikTok fame, thanks to her grooving covers, she’s comforted when someone who isn’t a Gen Z club kid or a TikTok addict says they’re a fan. But it’s not just 30-something millennials, either. A certain ’90s era rapper of early aughts VH1 reality TV fame is also an admirer: Yes, even Flavor Flav has set his comically large clocks by DeTiger’s success.

“He was like, ‘Yo, I’m a fan,'” the singer and bassist told Jezebel of a recent meeting at one of her DJ gigs. “Now we keep in touch over DM.”

Since April, DeTiger’s been touring her new album, All I Want Is Everything, released on March 29. The record is a good addition to the “club hits you can cry to” genre with tracks like “Sad Girl Machine,” a diaristic ode to the many what-the-fuck-is-happening moments in one’s 20s, and “You Say,” an unfortunately relatable lamentation of leading someone you have no real intention of being with on and on.

@bludetiger

Replying to @nevaeh ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっ your wish is my command 🫡 @arianagrande #bass #boyismine #womeninmusic #basscover #eternalsunshine #arianagrande

♬ original sound – Blu DeTiger

So far, the New York show has been DeTiger’s favorite, partly because of the crowd’s fervor for her deeply felt lyrics and damn cool bass riffs. If the woman I met in the bar that night was any indication, I’m willing to wager everyone else in the audience was equally enamored.

“You can just see the reaction in real time when you’re actually at the show,” DeTiger said, noting that online laudation pales in comparison to that experienced on stage. “Nothing is as the same as in person.”

DeTiger talked with Jezebel about collaborating with Chappell Roan, calling  Flavor Flav a fan, and making the bass cool.


JEZEBEL: First off, why the bass? It’s not the glory instrument the way that maybe an electric guitar or the drums are. 

BLU DeTIGER: Exactly. That’s exactly why we’re doing it. I’m trying to make it cool because it’s such a dope instrument. People just have to see what it can do. There are so many times that people comment on my TikToks like, “Oh, I didn’t even know the bass could make this sound” or whatever, and I think that’s pretty slick.

I saw my brother playing the drums when he was 10 and I was 7 and naturally, I wanted to play an instrument too. I felt the guitar was too mainstream or that I’d just seen it a lot and I think there was some inkling for me to be a little bit more unique. I wanted to feel different.

Your latest record, All I Want Is Everything, sounds like a bit of a retrospective on all these very universal experiences of a 20-something. Tell me more about the inspiration.

The production and the bass tone are really elevated in a cool way and lyrically, it’s really strong. So, I think that shows good growth. Like “Imposter Syndrome” kind of shows a cool evolution because I hadn’t really written or put out something that was more vulnerable.

A lot happened in the past three years. Post-pandemic, I was moving from New York to Los Angeles and signing my record deal. I was touring my project for the first time and just sort of seeing where I fit in as an artist and generally growing up and all that stuff. It’s really about those formative years. Most of the songs are taken from my real experiences or experiences that I’ve had that are exaggerated a bit for songwriting purposes. Yeah…just life, man.

Chappell Roan and Mallrat are on this record’s incredible list of collaborators. What was it like working with them? 

I just love writing with other artists. You relate on another level. You’re all kind of going through a similar version of the same thing no matter what trajectory you’re on. I think we just get each other. All the people I work with are very allowing of me and are there to support my vision and get out what I’m trying to say. They’re also all homies and I think it’s always best to work with friends and people you like to hang out with because it makes the whole experience better.

Speaking of Chappell Roan, she and Sabrina Carpenter, who you recently opened for, are having such a moment right now. How’s it feel to know you’re all on—what I would consider—similar trajectories? 

I think what’s cool about those two specific artists you just mentioned is that they both have been doing this for so long. That phrase, “It takes 10 years to be an overnight success,” I think that’s just so true. And you see it with them. I mean, Sabrina’s been doing it forever and ever and she’s always been this good. You just keep working on it until it hits. Now she’s like, the biggest thing ever. She deserves it. Same thing with Chappell. She’s been doing it forever and is now making the dopest shit ever. And when I started posting on TikTok, I got a following almost overnight and it seemed like it happened really fast. But I’ve been doing this in some form or another since I was seven. I’ve been touring, playing, and practicing almost every day for years and years. There’s always a backbone of hard work and practice and then, once the moment strikes, you have the talent and the skill and experience to back it up. That’s what I respect so much about those other artists. You just keep doing it, then there’s going to be the moment that it connects.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Blu DeTiger (@bludetiger)

You’ve said in previous interviews that you never really had a female mentor in the music industry. Has that absence inspired you to be that for others?

When I was younger, I had to create my own path because I didn’t really see anyone that was doing exactly the same thing as me which I think is really cool. I’m kind of carving a way for myself. I didn’t have an example that was going to lead me to where I am now. I just kept saying yes to everything and it was totally non-traditional. I ended up where I always thought I would be, I just didn’t really know how to get there. Everyone has their own journey and that was what was right for me. But for sure, I think if I could be that person for someone coming up and looking to do that sort of thing, that’s all I could ask for. I get a lot of people hitting me up saying that I inspire them to play bass, which is the coolest thing to me. Or, being like, “I have a feeling I want to make music, how do I do it?” I try to help as many people as possible. I want to inspire people or let them know that they can do it.

So, do you still want everything or are you more satiated now?

Still everything. I think that’s the beauty of the title. You never get everything you want. There’s always going to be stuff to strive for. That’s kind of what’s ironic about the title, too. It’s learning to be satisfied without ever really being satisfied. I’ll just keep going one step at a time, and hopefully, things just get bigger and bigger.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin