Having grown up surrounded by the charming chaos of New York City nightlife, it's only correct that Blu DeTiger shot her newest music video in a hip Lower East Side club. Accompanied by a group of fellow partygoers (including Nicky Ottav), she dances her way through the streets of downtown before landing inside of a disco ball-lit club. It looks like the place to be, however, one can only assume that wherever DeTiger goes is place to be. With a co-sign from electronic duo The Knocks and a resume that includes House of Yes and numerous chic warehouse parties, she's on a fast-track to stardom.
"Mad Love," DeTiger's newest track, is an ode to all of her liveliest nights out with her crew — just don't fuck up her fun. Her chants are accompanied by a bobbing bassline and a whole lot of cowbell, proving that the production is indeed groovy in the most literally sense. It's a radio-ready hit, and her friends know it; dressed in neons and the latest club fashions, they dance throughout the video on bars, in VIP booths, and in the middle of the street. Not quite summery, but too fluorescent for cold weather listening, "Mad Love" is the spring transition to the blistering heat that we've all been waiting for.
PAPER sat down with Blu DeTiger to talk about the new track, performing with The Knocks, and creating her own shade of nail polish with Floss Gloss for her tour merch. Watch the PAPER premiere of "Mad Love," directed by Luke Rathborne, below.
What inspired you to write the new track?
This is an attitude song and a girl power song. It says "I have a lot of love and good energy to give but don't mess with me and waste my time." Sometimes when I'm DJing, people with a bad vibe come up and take me out of my focus. I love when people come up to me with love and support and appreciation, but this song talks about the flip side. It can be as simple as someone coming into your space (physical or emotional) and disrupting your vibe or flow, or someone actually trying to hit on you at the club when all you wanna do is dance and have fun with your friends. I got mad love, but if you start putting negative energy into my life I'm going to get off that immediately. Good energy only! Musically and production-wise, it's an amalgamation of my influences. It has the funky bass groove and pops, house-y chord stabs, vocoder, distorted guitar and jazzy piano flutters coming in and out.
The composition is particularly groovy. Are you setting out to make music people can dance to, or are you interested in exploring more downtempo themes?
These songs are inspired by movement. I've been moving forward, fast, dancing, working, hustling, touring, etc., so these songs are coming from that place. In general, dance is what I relate to and gravitate towards the most. I'm interested in exploring downtempo themes and will definitely do it whenever I'm feeling that way.
What kind of music do you like to play in your sets?
I play everything, but I love playing disco, funk, and soul music. That's what I grew up listening to and those are the bass lines I studied and practiced for hours on end to get better at my instrument. But it always depends on the night — sometimes I play everything from Drake to Travis Scott to Jennifer Lopez to Prince. Other times I'm on late at night doing a house set.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Cabbitt
What inspired the video? Are those your friends you're dancing with?
It was shot at this club Better Days in the Lower East Side, formerly known as Happy Ending. It's one of the clubs in NYC where I first started DJing consistently, and where I had some of my first real club DJ gigs. And yes, those are my friends! The actual music video is very real and authentic in that it's just me and my friends laughing and dancing together at a club that I go to and DJ at regularly. We had so much fun shooting this.
How was touring with The Knocks?
It was amazing. I was the opener, doing my own set with original music, DJing, singing, and playing bass. I was also playing bass, synth, and guitar, and singing backup for The Knocks during their headlining set. I loved touring and performing every night. We have the best time together.
"I got mad love, but if you start putting negative energy into my life I'm going to get off that immediately."
I also saw that you have your own nail polish collab out — what motivated you to put this out as your merch?
I love wearing accessories that match, especially blue ones. For my first tour as a solo act I wanted to do something in addition to the classic merch t-shirt. The nail polish is a collaboration with Floss Gloss, a brand I love. The color is my favorite shade of blue and it matches my bass and some of the outfits I've been wearing on tour. I like doing nail polish as a merch item because it's a product for glowing up — a small way to accessorize but makes you feel glamorous. This blue shade specifically is dark and sexy and empowering. And that's how I want my music and shows to be!
What kind of sounds are you interested in exploring in the future?
I definitely want to continue exploring dance music genres, especially fusing classic funk with modern dance music.