Sydney Blu's Label, BLU Music, Helps Define Toronto's Sound
Sydney Blu discusses her label and her parties!
Sydney Blu has come a long way since her days on Ontario's most well known electronic label, Mau5trap. Since then, she's continued her remarkable hard work as a DJ/Producer, but also as an entrepreneur. She started her own successful label, BLU Music, in 2009, specializing in tech house and groovy beats; organized the BLU Party, a series of amazing dance events all over North America; and even begun her own radio show, BLU Radio.
The label's upcoming release, Damarii Saunderson and 7th Star's "She Said" is debuting today on THUMP and will be available November 9. The next BLU Party will be in Toronto on November 6 and will feature, Sydney Blu (of course), Cocodrills, and The Roaches (a B2B set with Carlo Lio and Nathan Barato). THUMP caught up with her ahead of the event to learn more about her label, artists, and sound.
THUMP: How would you describe your sound?
Sydney Blu: I play house with influences from all genres of the underground. I love techno and deep house as well. It all basically gets released in tech house...It's groovy, jacking, soulful and dark.
Tell us about the scene in your hometown?
Toronto wins in North America for me. That's why I moved back here. I lived in Miami, Denver, and LA. Still nothing was ever as good as the Toronto underground scene for me. We know our music and really legit artists come from here. Definitely proud to be from this city.
What's your favourite label that isn't your own?
Right now, probably Casual Records, Green Velvet's label. Also Circus, Yousef's label!
Have your releases been received as well as you'd hoped?
Yes, this year especially. I put a lot of time and effort into the label and its sound this year and it's really paid off. I love how we have rebranded and gotten some amazing artists on board. Definitely lots of support recently. We have had big chart topping hits in the past years. Musically though, right now is exactly where I want my label to be.
What makes your label different?
Well, I don't think what will everyone want to buy. I try to think what can I sign that no one has heard before. Without going too left field, I keep it within the genre but try not to sign stuff we've all heard five times differently. Electronic music can be so monotonous. It's best to stand out, not be like everyone else.
Which release would you recommend to introduce a new listener to your label?
Durtysoxx and Nightmovers Soul and Flex is an amazing EP that really gets the vibe of the label.
Which are your favourite tracks?
I absolutely loved Simon Doty's "INO" from earlier this year. Also The Junkies' "I Just Can't Try" (Jaceo Remix) was another big one.
How do you choose the artists that you work with?
If I like their music I might approach them for a remix or ask for a track. Also, sometimes I luck out and get sent amazing demos.
What's the next release on the label? How far ahead do you plan your releases?
We plan about 4-6 months in advance right now. Next release is "She Said" by Damarii Saunderson and 7th Star with a remix by Gene Farris.
What challenges do you face running the label?
Running a label is a lot of work and financially tough. Records obviously don't make the money they used to. It's always a challenge to make back what you spend. Thank god I love music!
What sound do you think the music industry is moving towards?
I definitely think underground is back and people are (thank god) drifting away from EDM. People are growing up. It's nice to see. Proper house music is back. I love going to Defected parties because that label always kept it real and that's is where it all came from.
Sydney Blu will be performing at the BLU Party on November 6 in Toronto. Tickets and information are available here.