On Point With: Danny Blu

This uber-sexy Dark Prince of Queer Pop just dropped a new single, and will have an exciting new EP ready to slay in time for the spooky season… but you can scream your heart out for Danny Blu live as soon as this weekend!

Thotyssey: Hello Danny! Random first question: based on your musical style and aesthetic, I’m wondering if you’ve seen the new Sandman show on Netflix yet. It’s cool!

Danny Blu: Hey hey! Unfortunately I haven’t seen it yet… but if you think it’s worth it, I’ll absolutely check it out. I’ve been crazy busy lately, so my TV binging has been lacking.

I can imagine! Aside from recording and performances, are you also still bartending at The Q?

Yes, but I’ve moved into a management position now! I actually took the job about two weeks from “The Great Q Scandal of 2022,” lol, so it’s been a wild ride right from the start. But I couldn’t be happier with the work the entire team has been doing, and where we’re headed as an unapologetically queer, inclusive venue.

[Photo: Jae WB]

You’re actually going to have another important moment there down the road, but we’ll get back to that! First off, where are you from originally, and what was the music you grew up with?

I’m originally from New Jersey. I came to NYC right out of high school in 2008, and have been here ever since. I grew up with a massive mix of music: my mom was into Broadway and pop, my dad was a metal head, and I was a scene kid–so, everything from Les Misérables to Godsmack to Cher to Hawthorne Heights. When I moved to NYC and got into nightlife, I became a pop scholar. I’m obsessed with pop music.

You also have that very dark, goth aesthetic that brings to mind the East Village or London in the 80s.

Oh yes! Definitely very influenced by the androgyny of the 80s glam world.

When did you really start to refine that look, as far as tattoos, etc.?

I started getting tattoos when I was 16, but I always knew I would be fairly covered; I used to draw on myself with sharpies and pens in middle school.

And do you have any particular style icons?

I’ve always looked to people like Axel Rose, Davey Havok, Lady Gaga, Jeffree Star, Rick Owens… basically anything dark and sparkly!

[Photo: Steffano Morte]

When did you start writing and recording your own music?

I started in college. I put two solo albums out, one in 2011, the follow up in 2014. Then I formed an alt rock band called Echo Black. We were together ’til the pandemic, and we toured North America several times. Then I went back to the solo career and rebranded it a bit. I put out The Pale Horse EP on September 1, 2020 as the return of “Danny Blu.”

I watched many of your videos… in fact, I came across the first one before I even met you or knew who you were, and it made quite an impression! Do you like the process of filming videos, and do you have a favorite?

I absolutely love doing music videos. The creative process is really satisfying, and they’re always so collaborative. I’ve always thought that visuals play such an important part in a musician’s career; they really allow the audience a deeper understanding of the art. I think my favorite video so far is “Dawn” (which is actually an Echo Black song), but it was so clean and big and politically charged. Close runners up would be “Love Me Bad” and “White (K)night.”

I bet you get some really interesting… stuff… from your fans. Does it get into “vials of blood” territory?

Oh I’ve gotten some incredible fan gifts over the years! Echo Black had some really dedicated fans, some that would even follow our entire tour route. I’ve gotten tarot cards, custom clothing, handmade pillows, hand-studded keychains, Pride flags, jewelry, etc. One fan even made the band out of Legos… like, full Lego stage, Lego instruments, and Lego people that resembled us. I’ve gotten HBO Max passwords, artwork… but no blood. Yet.

So much of today’s gay music culture is very sugary, corporate pop-driven, whereas you have this darker, crunchier sound. Do you find that your audience is mostly outside of that pop-centric bubble?

Yeah, I’ve found my audience to be all over the place–mostly queerdos, though (queer weirdos, lol). But I get the ex-emo millennials, I get the post-punk fans, I get some industrial fans, and lots of indie pop fans.

One unique venue you’ll be performing at this Saturday (August 13th) is QXTs in Newark! That’s one of the last standing true alt-goth-industrial centered venues in the Tri-State.

Literally could not be more excited about this show! QXTs is an incredible space–and yes, like you said, it’s one of the last standing true alt-venues. This is actually my QXTs official debut! I’ve only performed on their stage once before, but I was a special guest for Moris Blak (one of my producers). This show is going to be very special. I’ve always said I wanted to perform with dancers in true popstar fashion, and this is the first show I’m able to implement that element!

Very exciting! And bringing it back to The Q–as we slowly but surely approach the Spooky Season, you will be spearheading a big event there in October! What can you tell us about The MOLOTOV Ball, where you will be performing new music?

I’m so glad you asked! So this will also be my Q [performing] debut, and I’m so proud to be doing the official MOLOTOV release party there!! The MOLOTOV Ball will be a little trip into my world; it’s the final show on the short tour I’m doing at the end of September to support the album. So we’re pulling out all the stops! Like you said, we’re kicking off Spooky Season with this bad boy on October 1… so break out the fishnets and eyeliner and let’s dance!

Tell us about MOLOTOV the EP, which drops the night before this party! What’s the sound like?

MOLOTOV is my love letter to the dance floor in my own way. Nightlife has been so good to me over the years, and if The Pale Horse was my version of Armageddon then MOLOTOV is the nightclub built on the ashes of the world we burned down. I took a lot of inspiration from 70s disco, 80s synth pop, 90s rave / industrial, and 00s power pop… with a little hyperpop thrown in for good measure.

And you just released a new music video for the first single!

The “Give Me Your Love” music video is live as of Monday, August 8th on my YouTube. MOLOTOV [the whole EP] is out September 30.

We’re looking forward to all the new and live music! So finally: how many Halloween looks will you be turning in October?

Ooop… I better have time to serve more than one! I’ve wanted to do a Milla Jovovich look for a while now. Maybe this is the year!

Hot! Thanks, Danny!

[Photo: Phairy]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Danny Blu’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and his website. Download and stream his music on all available platforms.

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