Blu DeTiger has a Really Very Good new EP, so we asked her to talk us through it, track by track.
Figure It Out
This song just poured out. The first verse and chorus were written in about 20 minutes. It was one of those songs that I didn’t even realise what I was writing about until it was finished. I always believed in this song, but didn’t expect it to resonate with so many people in the way that it did. There was a poetic timing with its release. I didn’t plan it to be like this, but it ended up coming out at the very start of the pandemic when I, along with so many, suddenly had a lot to figure out. It went viral, became my first song on the radio, etc. I’m really so grateful. It’s a song about “figuring it out”, and that’s exactly what it ended up forcing me to do. It put me on the right path and opened up a bunch of new doors for me. It also begins to answer the question of the EP: ‘How Did We Get Here?’ You figure it out.
The bass creates the movement on all the songs on the EP; this track in particular bounces from the start with only bass and drums. It’s bumping for real.
This song was loosely inspired by a person I was seeing, and some of the characters I’ve run into in NYC. I’ve always thought of myself as a “vintage girl” because I take so much influence from the past. I listen to a lot of disco, 70s funk; I’ve DJ’d house, techno classics, and every pop hit from the 50s until the present day; and I’ve also practised every jazz standard in The Real Book. I want someone to match my vibe and aesthetic, and in the basic sense of the song, I want a “vintage boy” to accompany my sick outfit. Lyrically I really go in on what a “vintage boy” type would be. I’m making fun of him, but at the same time, I’m admitting that I’m kind of into it. It also twists the traditional gender roles to be that I am the one who wants the guy to be MY arm candy (rather than the other way around). I think it’s empowering.
Toast With The Butter
I wrote and produced this song with my brother, Rex, in the early quarantine days. The drum and percussion layers groove hard, and the drum fill almost comes out of nowhere (it goes from 8th notes to triplets). The bassline drives the music and gives the song motion. After the chorus, there’s actually a tempo change where I do a bass lick and a bass harmony. When I was working on this song, I was in such a flow. All the weird moments and quirks in the song came to me in a sort of “aha” moment where I was like “oh I’m hearing a tempo change right now let’s try it.” I have a lot of character in my voice on this song, especially the first line of the verse “Yeah, I’m freaking out.” When I went to track this song, I wanted to up the stakes a little and add more drama and lust to the performance. You can even hear shortened breaths in the vocal takes. It’s a cheeky subject with innuendo and me singing unashamedly about how much I want this person.
disco banger but you’re crying in the bathroom
During quarantine, I sometimes found myself in the “sad disco” headspace. I was listening to “Love Come Down” by Evelyn “Champagne” King, a song I would often spin in my DJ sets. I was remembering how amazing dancing feels and how much I missed the dance floor, so the refrain became “I miss that feeling…” and then “ooh ahhh… where do u wanna go?” I wrote and produced this one just myself and my brother as well, and we turned it into something about this moment of transition — and you’ll notice it acts as an interlude/transition point on the EP. It’s cinematic and meant to take the listener through the moments of hearing the song throughout the club, then behind the walls of the bathroom, and finally back to another room. The title says it all…
Rex and I had a musical idea going and played it over facetime to my good friend Chi. We were reminiscing and immediately started coming up with melodies and lyrics to match the way we were feeling – thinking about how the summertime used to be… and imagining going to a random rooftop party/hangout on Canal Street in Chinatown. The song takes you through a night in New York — floating around, meeting new people, flirting, dancing, and then maybe dissing the person you were low-key vibing with to dance with yourself and your friends. The title ‘Night Shade’ is a double meaning. It’s a type of plant that can grow in the shadows, and that’s kind of what a night out is like where you can come alive and even blossom. It’s also about perhaps having to throw a little shade to the person who you thought was cool at first… There’s a mishmash of musical influence in this track: bongos, funky bass, tight 16th note hi-hats, hip hop off-beat “hey” chants, Nile Rogers style guitar groove, etc. and I’m utilising the higher register of voice in a slightly different way than the other songs. The vocals have a lot of layers and “moments” — adding punches of character to the story and song in general.
Cotton Candy Lemonade
More so than the others, this was a song that directly came out of my emotions and feelings caused by the quarantine. I was staying up till sunrise every night, working on music and reminiscing about a different time. I was feeling that I wanted to get lost – lost with a special person or caught in a feeling or lost outside in a new place. I love how the word “lost” can be both positive and negative: “I wanna get lost with you / cause right now I’m lost without you too” (meaning I want to get lost in a good way, because right now I’m lost in the bad way). The production and arrangement makes me feel like I’m getting transported to a different place by the end of this song.
Kinda Miss You
I was about to leave for a trip to Paris when I wrote this song. I was fantasising and hoping I would meet a cute Parisian on the trip and have a romantic fling abroad (who doesn’t?). I had this phrase “one week wonder” written down in my phone for a few weeks, and I kept coming back to it. I thought it was a cool way to talk about “a short and hot fling” – someone who you were into for a week but you two could only exist in that time. The song poured out from that original concept. It’s a 4 on the 4 groove which makes it feel upbeat and housey, but it also has a lot of sadness to it. Sometimes you really do miss those people, wish you saved their number, and think to yourself: what could have been? Then you find yourself searching through Instagram usernames and going blind trying to make out if it’s them in the mini private profile pic.
Taken from the March 2021 edition of Dork, out now.