At Work: Blu DeTiger

Hana Gustafson on September 21, 2022
At Work: Blu DeTiger

Blu DeTiger’s year started off on a high note. In January—after Roddy Ricch had to pull out of SNL due to COVID and was replaced at the last minute by Bleachers—the New York-based bassist received a surprise Instagram DM from Jack Antonoff. As it turns out, a few members of Bleachers were unable to make the show themselves due to the pandemic—though they sent some of their clothes along for the taping—and the group’s frontman offered Blu DeTiger the chance to make her late-night television debut on “How Dare You Want More” and “Chinatown.” From there, her profile only increased: During the following months, she joined Rebecca Black onstage for the “Friday” singer’s DJ set at Coachella, partnered with Fender to create her very own bass and successfully completed her first-ever solo European run.

“I started touring when I was 17,” the bass prodigy says sheepishly, a few hours after returning home from a trek oversees. “I started getting into being a session musician, playing with different artists as a hired bass player. Then, I went on the road with The Knocks, playing bass with them and opening for them. And then I toured with this artist, Caroline Polachek. I just kept getting different gigs. Once you’re on the circuit, then you start to get more notice as a player.”

A young, twenty-something musician, DeTiger is soft-spoken and humble despite her meteoric rise, which is largely thanks to the 1.2 million TikTok followers she scored during the pandemic by dubbing her flawless basslines over everything from Doja Cat to Anderson .Paak. In addition, the pop-funk musician released two collaborations with the Canadian electric funk duo Chromeo in late May, “Blutooth” and “enough 4 u,” as well as her own vibey, high-energy non-album single “Hot Crush Love” earlier this year. A bit of a stylistic departure, her latest offerings are more groove-laden explorations, finding a comfortable middle ground between electronic music and dance-funk. “We had so much fun making them,” DeTiger says of working with Chromeo. “Their studio was so awesome, and I’ve been a fan of them for a really long time. [It’s] always so cool when you get to work with people who you’re a really big fan of intimately in the studio. And, now, they feel almost like mentors.”

Shifting her thoughts to her rapidly developing live show and her current festival sweep— including stops at Gov Ball, Bonnaroo and Sacred Rose—she adds, “Basically, [I just wanna] do more of this on a bigger scale.” She then pauses and looks ahead to her next steps in the studio. “I wanna showcase a different side of me—one that is more funky.”