Friday, April 26, 2013

Questions and Answers with Blue

Questions & Answers: Blue, Host of Uranus Is Blue 

by Kia Sleet

Image by Raquita Henderson at Pinxit Photography

Listen to any song by @iamBlueAzul and you’ll understand why I’m a fan.  
Listen to “Stay In the Car” and “GTFOHWTB” and you’ll also understand why she’s on my Top 20 List.  I don’t really have an actual list but I just decided making one up would be a good idea. Blue is a hardworking producer, songwriter, educator…best of all she makes no apologies for being her authentic self.  Meet Blue…

Kia Sleet: Where are you from? 
Blue Azul: I claim 3 different home towns for 3 different reasons. E. St. Louis (aka East Boogie…aka Blackland) is where I lived until I was 7 years old. I didn’t see white folks as real people for the first time until I moved to Peoria, IL. That was a daunting experience. I remember on my first day at my new school, Kingman, in Peoria. The kids were standing in line to go to the bathroom. I was still with my mother being introduced to the teachers and all. When I saw the kids who were going to be in my class, this white girl named Sarah was looking at me and smiling. I looked back at her, then turned to my mother and whispered “She’s white!!” My mother looked back at me and whispered “I know.” I was introduced to blatant institutionalized racism in Peoria. We’ll say that’s where I lost my innocence.
My other home town is St. Louis. That’s where I became an adult and an artist. St. Louis is where my current family is and where I will always return when shit gets weird.
KS: Can you share a few details about your background?
BA: I remember seeing a Christmas tree and listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Secret Life of Plants” record. I was very young. I learned how to use the needle and I remember being proud that I could play records all by myself. I listened to that album over and over again while spinning around in the living room floor. My mother had many lives. In one of them, she dated a guy who worked in a record store, so she got a LOT of records. I probably listened to all of them by the time I was 17 years old. Yet, I still don’t think I was able to digest everything. One of my favorite records was Richard Pryor’s “Black Ben the Blacksmith”. I’d listen to that over and over again. I liked the way he talked. I really don’t know why my mother let me listen to that over and over again when I was like 7 and 8…I guess she didn’t see any harm to it. Most of the jokes I didn’t even get until I was in my 20s. I could probably recite the entire album as I listened to it, however, once I got the jokes, it was like listening to it for the first time!
Oh, and “Little Lulu”, a graphic story book about a little mischievous girl, scared the shit outta me. I still get chills when I see the title.
KS: Who’s your biggest musical influence?
BA: I think that Stevie Wonder is my biggest musical influence. The way he used sound and layering and a mixture of acoustic and electronic instrumentation to tell a story was captivating. And every story was different. He’s also my mother’s favorite musical person. My sister’s favorite musical person was Prince, so I also learned about him and was able to appreciate real musicianship. But I fell in love with Michael Jackson. I’ll admit I never really liked Michael’s music beyond Off the Wall. The videos and his dancing and all the other entertaining stuff about Michael wrapped me up into fanaticism just like it did everybody else though. I’m still a fan.
KS: What inspires you the most? 
BA: Food. I will do anything for food.

KS: You recently launched a radio show Uranus is Blue, how did this come about and what inspired the title?
BA: In December 2012, Justin Bridges, the producer, whom I’d met at Cannabis Cafe when we both performed there, asked me to do a show because he was looking for someone who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth about issues that affect real people: I was doing one of my regular Facebook rants and a white dude told me to “cool it on the racism” which I thought was ridiculous. So I gave the dude the business on my fb wall which apparently entertained Justin enough to send me a message saying “Want a radio show?” Local Live Houston (out of Houston, TX) the radio company, is an independent company that gives radio away for free, being funded completely by the generosity of sponsors. As a result, there’s no FCC regulation and we can say and do whatever we want. Justin, who was beat up by the cops while protesting with OCCUPY in November 2011 (they busted his spine and now he’s in a wheelchair) uses cannabis (legally in Oregon) as medicine for his pain and works to raise awareness of the People’s issues and promote decriminalization of cannabis usage. I’m down for a white dude who would risk his ass in protest of injustice…and I can say/do whatever I want?… so I was like “Fuck yeah I want a radio show!”
I got the title “Uranus is Blue” as a result of conversations I’ve had with my friend Dail Chambers. We’re both Aquariuseseseses and Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius. Plus, Uranus is blue and I’m Blue and Uranus is a cool name for a planet. Uranus Is Blue will never not be awesome. You can “like” us on Facebook at Uranus Is Blue to be a part of the conversation. The music we play is pretty rad too. Shout out to Christopher Pittman who makes sure I stay abreast of the latest in 100% independent music, aka “Staying Abreast on Uranus.” The show wouldn’t be nearly as cool without him. Also, shout out to the Wingman Monica Foucher. She stands in the wings and hypes UIB up to potential victims.
KS: The life of an independent artist can be really tough, what keeps you going?
BA: Knowing that the alternative is even tougher.
KS: 7. What’s your take on the music industry as it is today?
BA: Fuck the music industry. Either make art, or go back to your fucking job.
KS: What do you want to tell your fans?
BA: I love you. You keep me on my toes.
KS: Oh here’s one more: Can you tell us about “Breakage: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Babylon, The Musical” Sampler Pack and how this project came into fruition?
BA: The title of the album is “Breakage: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Babylon, The Musical”. The Sampler Pack is a special promo pack for folks like yourself. The album is a GPS for hitchhikers in Babylon. You’ll learn about the different characters in Babylon as well as instructions for how not to fall prey to the beast. And the best part is that there’s a happy ending.
“Breakage: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Babylon, The Musical” is the 3rd movement of my magnum opus: first, there was New Growth. Then, there was Nappy Kitchen. Now, there’s Breakage. There are many layers to this project, but people will get what they want.
I finally caved in and bought my domain name. I’m learning that not everything that costs money is evil. You can find out about the saga as it unfolds at
- Kia S.

UPDATE: Uranus Is Blue is no longer affiliated with Local Live Media.
Visit for information. 

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