The Mid Year Report launched last summer with the intent of spotlighting 10 artists within the realm of electronic music who share and represent the adventurous, independent spirit of NEST HQ. Similar to our end-of-year superlatives, the Mid Year Report recognizes those musicians who are outpacing their contemporaries due to fearless creativity and deliberate integrity, and this week, we’ll be discussing 10 artists who we believe are pushing the genre forward in 2017.
Read below for our Mid Year Report on Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3.
UNIIQU3, whose name has become synonymous with Jersey Club, is the only artist we’ve ever talked to who identifies as having started out as a self-proclaimed “party-girl” (read our full interview with her from last year here). She fell so hard for the music and distinctly Jersey Club culture that it set her on a mission to figure out how to make bringing that sound and style to the world her life’s work. Starting out originally as a DJ, topline writer, and vocalist, UNIIQU3 only made the decision to learn how to produce because she eventually grew tired of waiting for other producers to be finished with her tracks. It didn’t take long to get her chops up to par and since then opportunity has been knocking non-stop.
As she told The Hundreds late last year, “Two years ago I was working at a liquor store. This year, I played Coachella.” Last weekend she headlined at San Francisco’s massive PRIDE celebration and is continuing to spread the good news of OG Jersey Club life via the party series Brunch Bounce, who are co-hosting their very own festival in the Bronx called The Greatest Day Ever! for their fourth year running. Amidst the mayhem of an underground culture being thrust into the limelight, UNIIQU3 has been doing her part to maintain its integrity and honor its origins.
According to her interview from SXSW 2015 with FACT Mag, distinctly Jersey parties have a few unique features (pun genuinely not intended), one of which is getting on the mic and being extra communicative with the crowd. The once-shy DJ who was peer-pressured into being more vocal in her DJ sets now commands crowds like a proper MC with a voice you can tell immediately is hers. The other unique feature of Jersey Club is the synchronized dance moves only Jersey Club ride-or-die fans know and teach to each other. Her Boiler Room set is blazing hot work of art, if you’ve not had the true-blue Jersey Club experience, this is the best possible place to start and see what all the hype is about.
And while Jersey Club has blown up around the world in the last few years, it wasn’t always its pioneers bringing it to the masses. In an interview with NEST HQ last year, UNIIQU3 spoke to the appropriation of Jersey Club culture by artists like Cashmere Cat and Trippy Turtle. “People were coming up to us and saying, ‘Oh, you guys are being appropriated, and this is what happens with every ghetto-house genre,’ and I’m like, ‘Wait what is appropriation?’ We were like too caught in our world to worry about that shit. I feel like everyone else was super aware about it, and that made us aware. And then we were like, ‘Damn, this is kinda fucked uppp.’ But, I still feel like that’s still dope that they play our stuff, and they put their own spin on it. I love Cashmere’s stuff, and I really appreciate how last year when Cashmere toured, he tried to take along the people that he considered pioneers. He got me, he got Nadus and Sliink to open up for him, to show people, ‘This is who inspired me to make the music you guys like.’ I feel like that was really dope.”
Continuing on her Jersey Club evangelist crusade whilst maintaining its organic authenticity, UNIIQU3 dropped a quintessential yet simultaneously minimalistic summertime rump-shaker with Yungkidd called “Trunk” characterized by ultra-crispy percussion and a relentless, hypnotic vocal chopped up to another level. It’s the first track in our UNIIQU3 Mid Year Report playlist below and was released via Nina Las Vegas’ NLV Records. UNIIQU3 recently revealed she’ll be releasing a full-length project later this year, til then may this playlist light the way to the majestic land Jersey Club.