From Pakistan to Miami, DJ Sydney Blu Moves the Masses

By Dave Wedge

They wanted to show me the good, cultural side of Pakistan. I didn’t see any kind of negativity at all. I definitely left the country with a very different perspective of the country than what you see on the news.

Pakistan isn’t exactly viewed as a tourism hotspot these days but for red-hot house diva Sydney Blu, the war-torn nation was a sea of bliss — at least for one day. “It was wonderful — all really cool, artistic, interesting people,” Blu says of a recent outdoor gig she headlined for 800 fans in Lahore. “They wanted to show me the good, cultural side of Pakistan. I didn’t see any kind of negativity at all. I definitely left the country with a very different perspective of the country than what you see on the news.”

The experience was one of many highlights in a whirlwind year that has seen the Canadian-born DJ/producer on the road for two straight months. A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Blu recently moved to nightlife-crazed Miami where she’s a regular in the booth at Mansion — so much so that her debut release, Sydney Blu: Live from Mansion, was recorded at the upscale super-club.

“When we decided I was going to move here for the residency we thought it would be appropriate that I did a live album with the club,” she says. “My shows at Mansion are always packed with my fans. I have such a wonderful following here in Miami now of devoted fans. It was a crazy night of fans and friends. I played a three-hour set.”

The album is made up mostly of her original tracks, including “Lights Out,” a slinky, sexy cut that samples Eazy E’s gangsta rap classic “No More Questions,” and “The Lockout,” a slamming anthem that’s already made it onto the playlists of Tiësto, Sander Van Doorn, Funkagenda, and other top DJs.

“It’s getting massive support,” she says of the track. “It’s a great feeling because these are the people I aspire to be like. They’re a great inspiration.”

Blu first caught the industry’s attention with her smash “Give It Up for Me,” which came out on Mau5trap, the label owned by her ex beau/fellow Canadian Deadmau5. The track marked the first time ever that a female-produced song was a top 10 hit on influential electronic music site Beatport.

She’s since launched her own label, Blu Music, and is focused on not only upping her DJ profile, but becoming one of the scene’s top producers. “There are still so few women producing music out there. There are a lot of female DJs, but not a lot of producers. It’s nice to get known as that because it’s a bit more groundbreaking,” she says.

While she’s conscious of the challenges of being a woman in a mostly male-dominated industry, she’s not one to use her sultry side to get a break.

“I just want people to know me as an artist — not as a female artist,” she says. “I just basically try and make it like anyone else. I don’t try to use my sexuality to get gigs because I don’t believe in that. Men don’t do that. I just want to make it myself, because of the music — rocking a party and making kick-ass beats.”

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