If Vogue calls you “the coolest DJ around” at age 18, you must be doing something right. Blu DeTiger, now 21 years old, is a fierce bass player and DJ from New York City. DeTiger’s aesthetic—striking outfits, colorful makeup, rockin’ dance moves—only further contributes to her badass-ness. She grew up with parents who were both artists and started playing the bass at age seven, factors which likely play a role in her current success.
Unfortunately, female bass players are still rare (despite awareness efforts from publications like She Shreds). But DeTiger is paving the way for young female artists in general. “I’m really hoping to inspire and empower girls to express themselves and be whatever they want to be,” she said in an interview.
In 2019, DeTiger took a leave of absence from the NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music to focus on touring and making music. In that same year, she put out her first single titled “In My Head.” “Don’t bring me a doctor / Don’t need no ambulance / I’m infected by the rhythm / The beat that’s in my head,” she sings over a slapping bass line.
In a not-so-distant time when clubs and bars were still open, DeTiger started to gain attention from DJing at clubs like Joyface, Public Hotel, House of Yes and other popular New York spots. She was the girl who whipped out a blue bass guitar during her disco-funk-inspired DJ sets—pretty hard to miss! DeTiger has also toured with a variety of artists, namely Caroline Polachek, KITTEN, FLETCHER, and The Knocks, where she made her debut act as a solo artist.
Last November before leaving for a tour, she posted her first TikTok video (like any good Gen Z-er does). She casually shared a cover of Doja Cat’s hit “Say So” and woke up with thousands of likes and hundreds of positive comments. Since then, DeTiger has been a TikTok queen, racking up over 11 million likes and over 800,000 followers. She is known for her covers in which she plays original bass lines over songs like Russ’ “What They Want,” Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Stevie Wonder’s “Do I do” and of course….Megan Thee Stalion’s “Savage.” You simply can’t resist bopping your head to these videos. Just try.
Because it’s 2020, you must be wondering: What has she been up to during quarantine? Well, DeTiger wrote, recorded and released a single titled “Figure It Out” while in lockdown. DeTiger speak-sings, “You’ll figure it out / Just figure it out / Just figure it out / We’ll figure it out.” These words are extraordinarily relevant right now. The music video for the track was shot in her home and filmed on an iPhone. She worked with her now-frequent collaborator and brother Rex DeTiger (drums) on the new song as they were quarantining together.
DeTiger’s confidence and tenacity are infectious. Even if you weren’t born with a rockstar name like Blu DeTiger and even if you don’t play bass, she’s still an inspiration.
Paris Rosenthal, a Chicago native, is an editorial music intern at Paste. You can usually find her listening to music, practicing yoga, writing, or organizing.
Watch DeTiger perform with KITTEN in their 2018 Paste studio session below.