Text by Wade Wallerstein
Photography: Rachel Cabitt
Bringing her signature bass lines to the dance floor at NO PLACE LIKE HOMO is rockin’ NYC DJ Blu DeTiger. We weren’t kidding about those bass lines—DeTiger is known for bringing her sparkly blue bass guitar out on stage and jamming out to her famous deep disco and house sets. A staple in NYC hot spots from House of YES to Output and now Good Room, DeTiger brings a deep musical knowledge to her shows that is apparent in her groovy, irresistible style. It’s always a good time with DeTiger in the booth. Before you dust off your ruby slipper dancing shoes, take a look at our conversation with DeTiger and get to know a little more about her funky vibe.
DRØME: Imagine this scenario: you’re home alone, what are you dancing to?
Blu DeTiger: Most likely some Blondie, Prince, late 70’s funk and disco, or old school house. I can get down to anything!
D: What’s your favorite venue right now?
BD: Right now my favorite venue is House of YES. I always have so much fun playing there and the crowd is always unique and ready to dance.
D: Have you collaborated with anyone recently?
BD: I have an ongoing collaboration with my brother, Rex. Our band is called BITS.
D: Where do you go looking to find new music?
BD: I’m constantly looking for music! I do a lot of searching on the usually sites: SoundCloud, Beatport, Juno Download, Traxsource. I also like to go out and hear other DJs play and see what everyone else is getting into. I'm very inspired by that— especially seeing and hearing which songs move the crowd in a party/club setting. I also listen to old sets from my favorite DJs.
D: What was the most memorable night of your life?
BD: Still waiting for it…
D: Do you have a day job besides DJ-ing?
BD: Besides going to school, I do other creative work in music. I write and perform in a band and I play bass for other projects as well.
D: If you could only remix one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
BD: “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.
D: You're famous for playing the bass live during your sets. That live performance element is pretty rare in the DJ world. How did you learn to play the bass, and what do you love about playing the instrument?
BD: I started playing bass when I was seven years old. My brother was playing drums at the time, so naturally I wanted to play an instrument and I chose bass! I think I liked the idea of being unique, and female bass players are hard to come by. Growing up, I have been lucky enough to work with and be mentored by amazing bass players and musicians. In my opinion, bass is the best instrument! A good bass line can transform a song completely, and most importantly the bass and drum groove is the foundation of a song. It’s so powerful because you can feel that low frequency in your chest. The bass makes people dance, which is part of the reason why I love adding live bass to DJ sets. It gives that extra sense of groove and feel, and that improvisation aspect of it allows me to react in real time to any creative and musical impulses I may have.
D: How does this performative element to DJing influence your production and vice versa?
BD: Whenever I write music I imagine me playing that song or idea live—so I'm always thinking about what would make the crowd move, or what would fit well into my sets.
D: What can everybody at NO PLACE LIKE HOMO expect on the dancefloor?
BD: Me slapping my sparkly electric blue bass to some deep disco grooves.
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.