Blu DeTiger, yes that’s her real name, is a bass player who is suddenly everywhere. She’s playing bass on Saturday Night Live with Bleachers, in Oliva Rodrigo’s project Driving Home 2 U on Disney+, has her own act on festival stages across the country, and she’s the performer who plays her bass while she DJs events across the country. If you think of a high-profile event, from Coachella to M3F Phoenix she’s likely there somewhere whether at the festival itself or playing one of the parties which surround it. Her new song is Hot Crush Lover. Released this month, it’s already picked up more than half a million views:
Blu’s path to success has been standard/nonstandard. She has played music most of her life, starting at seven years old. She plays bass and other instruments as well. But the core her success comes from her willingness to hustle and to play music wherever there is an opportunity.
In addition, Blu is formally trained, having done the school of rock, followed by NYU Tisch Clive Davis. She left school before finishing the program because of the opportunity to play live events.
It was during the pandemic when she really drew attention on Tik Tok, gaining 1.2 million followers by leveraging her youth and beauty across the platform while playing a bass with solid chops.
Blu’s success has as much to do with her work ethic as it does with her talent. She’s relentless. There are brand deals in which she is the face of a brand, and those which are her own. Meanwhile, she’s wherever she needs to be, taking planes across the country to pop in for a DJ set or a quick appearance, then back or on to wherever she’s due next.
Artists who stand out usually have something just a little different than what everyone does. Blu does an unusual thing when she DJs. She stands over a console, while wearing her bass and playing along with the songs she’s spinning. It’s unique and memorable. You can see she’s playing, not just moving the sliders and twisting knobs while the crowd dances. She does those things as well as playing bass in time and tempo to the sound coming out of the console.
Blu also works with Jack Antonoff which she got to know while playing bass on one of his Bleachers songs. She then played bass as the opening act in support of Bleachers on certain tour dates and on a Seth Meyers appearance. When Bleachers was set to play SNL, some of Antonoff’s band members tested positive for Covid. Blu was in New York and came in to cover for the bass player. She crushed the appearance. Watch how SNL’s cameras framed the shot. They knew it too.
In addition to music, Blu is developing her own lines of branded product. She has a deal with Fender for a bass designed to her own specification. She called out the design, color, mechanics, and pickups for the bass. Fender is a big brand and is backing this with a substantial campaign. Blu understands that musicians and fans both go into stores which sell instruments, and there they will be reminded of her as they see the displays for her Fender bass. This sort of cross branding builds audience which is the core obligation of a new act continuing to climb the ladder of popularity. Being featured in an ad for a Fender product also enhances her stature as a musician. You can’t lip synch a bass. It has to be played.
Blu’s brand strategy is that nothing is inauthentic. She is always involved in the process. She is designing clothing and a jewelry line. Her focus is to design a line which she would wear. These projects keep Blu visible, on billboards and in magazines. The idea is to always be in view.
For that same reason, Blu is getting into NFT and Web3 space. She did an NFT launch with Gary V. and Budweiser. NFTs build and enable community. Blu is in the discord group talking with the NFT holders and building community with her fans. NFT early adapters understand what the general population at large has not yet grasped: NFTs can be like club memberships. They create a momentum of their own and the group accelerates the ways it binds the members together as the community gathers strength through ongoing conversation, commonality of interest and shared experiences.
Blu is in the midst of playing a European tour, building her brand in smaller rooms. Hers is the correct attitude. Blu believes its better to be in smaller rooms on a first European tour, because it is good to sell out. She stays in constant communication with her team while they work out the tour logistics. However, Blu is comfortable delegating the mechanics of touring to the professionals.
In mid-May she returns to the United States for several festival appearances which include Hang Out Festival, BottleRock and The Governors Ball along with some dates on her own. To keep this all on track, Blu has a team working with her to assess demand for her appearances and scale the rooms appropriately. They look at the streams and the location from which the streams originate. She’s currently playing solo shows in 500-600 capacity rooms in North America.
I found Blu to be open and refreshing. Below are links in both video and audio format to our conversation. Do listen or watch:
Blu DeTiger is bubbling on the cusp of exploding into the consciousness of the public. She has the skill, the look, the drive, and the personality. That’s a combination which holds the promise of great success. Don’t miss the ride on the way up. You may never get another chance to see her in small rooms.