As we gear up for Movement this weekend, one thing’s for sure: the long weekend is concluding with The Blu Party after the festival ends Monday night. This one has a strong lineup featuring DJ Sneak, Christian Martin, Gene Farris, Sydney Blu, and the Saunderson Brothers, and we actually had the chance to get more familiar with the party by talking to Sydney herself. Read on to hear a bit about her start as an artist and with the party, how she curates lineups, and more. (Producers may find her advice at the end helpful for submitting to labels.) And don;t forget to get familiar with the weekend-long festival + grab tickets here!
You’re from Canada, not too far from Detroit. Can you remember your first time playing in Detroit? When and where was it?
►It was actually at The Works and I think it was in 2006. I played with Anthony Attalla and then I started playing Bleu pretty regularly after that. I was still playing vinyl back then.
Why Detroit as a location for The Blu Party?
►I came in 2008, but didn’t experience the festival properly; I just came for a couple sets. Then in 2013, I came back and had the best time. I came for the entire weekend. It was such an amazing weekend that I started thinking it would be cool to do our event we hold in Miami yearly in Detroit. I have so many friends from Toronto who come up from Canada for the weekend so I know I could pull a lot of my hometown crowd. We did it last year for the first time on the Friday (pre-Movement) and it was a huge success.
What was your role in selecting artists for this event’s lineup? What do you look for in an artist to be considered for your Blu parties?
►I look for artists who connect with the market we are in and I also pick artists I work with and I love their music. Two out of three of those factors usually compose my lineups.
In it’s seven years (and counting) run, how has The Blu Party evolved?
►It started in Miami in 2010 when I had just started my record label and moved to Miami. Our first party in 2010 was pretty cool. We had Funkagenda, Olivier Giacomotto, Lauren Lane, Serge Devant… off the top of my head. Since then, it has just grown and grown. We’ve done it five times in Los Angeles, once in NYC, five times in Toronto, twice in Calgary, and seven times now in Miami.
What can partygoers expect from your set this Monday night in Detroit?
►A kickin’ house set! It’s a house party. You’re gonna hear the best house music in the city that night.
You’ve had a few new tracks, like “Hella Dope” and “You Know how It Goes.” What’s next with you in terms of producing? What about performances after The Blu Party in Detroit?
►I have a ton of stuff coming out. I’m releasing music on Roger Sanchez‘s label Undr the Rdr, Joeski’s Maya Recordings, and Hot Since 82‘s Knee Deep in Sound next. Also, a follow-up track on Gene Farris‘ Farris Wheel and something on SOUP NYC‘s label. I will be playing everywhere, too. Just check my Facebook tour calendar.
Let’s wrap up with a little about Blu Music. When you started it, did submissions come in like crazy right away, or did it take a bit to get the label out there?
►It takes a bit for sure. I basically just sign tracks by my friends.
What do you look for in submissions?
►Right now i’m looking for house music; music that reflects what I’m playing.
What advice do you have for artists trying to get their work signed to Blu Music? What about advice to artists in general, no matter which label they’re aiming for?
►Make sure it fits the label or my sound. Don’t waste your time sending me EDM records, as I’m not signing that kind of music. Or dark techno. Listen to my sets and listen to the recent stuff we have put out. [In general,] it needs to fit the sound of the label. Do your research.