In a hotel lobby far, far away, two longtime friends and music-industry peers — Sydney Blu and Jesse “The Scumfrog” Houk — sat down for a alk about life, music, collaboration and more. Blu is currently riding high after releasing her full-length debut, Relentless, in July on Black Hole Recordings. Houk, who relocated from NYC to New Mexico and has his new track “Spin” dropping soon on Blu’s Blu Music label, continues to expand upon the fiery 4/4 blueprint he etched when he hit the global scene 15 years ago, never looking back or compromising his sound over the years. Sit back, relax and get ready tobe a fly on the wall as the two friends kick it in a captivating conversation.
Scumfrog: So, what is it like to be a female DJ?
Sydney Blu: Really? That question?
Sydney Blu: What is it like to be an old DJ?
Scumfrog: You just did that whole “mogul” thing for the past few years. You moved to LA, run a label, produce tons of tracks, a few albums, a mini documentary, really cool stuff. Were you invited to join any secret societies while you lived there as a mogul? Is there a mogul club?
Sydney Blu: Yes, there are mogul clubs, but in LA these are only for men. They have some women’s mogul clubs back East, so I recently moved back to my hometown of Toronto. Didn’t you move back East as well just now?
Scumfrog: Yes, I took a break from the NYC lifestyle by becoming a hermit in the mountains and desert of New Mexico. But after eight years things got kind of boring. There are only so many times a person can get excited over seeing a rattlesnake. Now I am once again living amongst hipsters in Brooklyn. Only this time they have beards. Are you into bearded hipsters?
Sydney Blu: I actually am — can you believe it? — as long as they sorta look like a Game of Thrones character. But seriously, we are doing this interview to make each other look important, so why don’t you tell everyone about the phenomenal single “Spin” you have coming out on my label.
Scumfrog: It’s phenomenal.
Sydney Blu: A week back in Brooklyn, and you’re already infected with the cooler-than-thou attitude?
Scumfrog: My PR agent tells me that since I don’t have a beard or heavy tattoos, I should at least act cooler than thou.
Sydney Blu: You don’t have a PR agent.
Scumfrog: It’s a great track that I have been playing out for a few months, so the people who follow me have probably already heard it. And then you chartered Simone Vitullo for a remix, so I am pretty stoked about it. Also stoked that it comes out on a label whose promo e-mails I actually open.
Sydney Blu: Ask me about my new album.
Scumfrog: We should wear name tags at all our shows that say that.
Sydney Blu: Seriously though.
Scumfrog: I already sang your praises for being a mogul, isn’t that enough?
Sydney Blu: [silent]
Scumfrog: You have a new album out. Why don’t you tell us about it?
Sydney Blu: It takes you on a journey! So original right? Seriously though, it was a lot of work and a lot of listening to bad music on your end before I got it right — correct, Jesse?! I think it turned out alright. The people buying it seem to think so anyway [smiles].
Scumfrog: Do you like collaborating with people on music, and how do you go about it?
Sydney Blu: I like collaborating if they make good music too. For example, D.Ramirez and I were pushed to work together by a couple mutual friends. That was a good push. I think we made some serious music together. I’m looking forward to working with him again. That’s usually the main reason for wanting to work with them. I usually stalk them until they work with me otherwise. What about you? How did the Hot Since 82 thing come about?
Scumfrog: That was surprisingly a result of WMC last year. Who knew that things still emerge from WMC other than hangovers! And this was partially because of you, because I was really only in Miami on a layover from the British Virgin Islands, and you invited me to play at your event while I was there. A few days before in the BVIs I was talking with Behrouz and he said that Hot Since 82 was doing a super secret gig at his club Don’t Sit On The Furniture during WMC. I said I wanted to attend, and Behrouz made me promise that I would not show up with a big crew because he was terrified that he would have to deal with over capacity having a big name DJ like HS82 in such an intimate venue. But apparently he was too cautious, and the place was rather empty when I got there, so I hung out with HS82 for a while and we had time and space to talk music, and a few weeks later I e-mailed him “Send Wave.” The rest is history.
Sydney Blu: You dropped a lot of names in that answer. Your publicist will be proud.
Scumfrog: I don’t have a publicist.
Sydney Blu: I need a drink.
Scumfrog: What is your drink of choice these days, and is it in your rider?
Sydney Blu: Vodka Soda. Of course it’s in my rider! And what are your vices?
Scumfrog: Interviewing female DJs in hotel lobbies.
Sydney Blu: I could have seen that coming. Any other questions to satisfy your sad fetish?
Scumfrog: What is it like to be a female DJ?
Sydney Blu: My Uber is here.
Scumfrog: I love you too?