One of the greatest things about music is the different developments sounds go through. If a sound is genuine and its audience feels authentically connected to the community around it then what follows is a process of creative expansion that spans decades. Each iteration of the genre brings about fresh energy, held aloft by the groundwork of those that came before them. This rings true for the Jersey club sound which, despite the self-contained nature of the scene over the recent decades, has seen a massive amount of success in the past few years. But why does this niche genre represent a whole new wave for the UK music scene?

Originating from the black DJs of the Newark club scene in the 1990s Jersey club is a form of electronic dance music. However, it didn’t develop its distinct high-energy, fast-paced style that we know it for now until the early 2000s. The sound draws on a wide pool of inspirations from hip-hop to Chicago house music. It features quick, looped kick patterns and intense, percussive beats, often with a heavy bassline played at 135 bpm. Jersey club has a strong sense of rhythm, inspired by the Baltimore club sound, as well as creative use of sampling and chopped vocals.

Even though Jersey club is known for its remixes, a prime example being Coi Leray’s recent viral hit Players Remix or Sri Lanka by 2Rare and PGS, there is a plethora of entirely original Jersey club content. Even big industry artists like Drake and Lil Uzi Vert have created music inspired by the ever-growing genre. As a community and culture, it centres dancers as part of its realisation, finding natural success on platforms like TikTok that thrive on high-energy dance videos. One of the most notable Jersey club influences in the realm of social media is the Running Man dance which some might not even realise stems from this scene. Or Cookiee Kawaii’s Vibe (If I Back It Up) which had TikTok in its clutches during the early months of 2020.

TikTok is the new playground for the Jersey club genre, taking a pivotal role for a whole selection of UK artists like Russ Millions, Nemzzz, 5EB or SkaiWater whose well-placed use of TikTok sounds to promote their music brought a great deal of success to their Jersey club infused sound.

There’s always been a very distinct level of cultural exchange between UK and US music scenes and Jersey club beats are no exception to the rule. One of the reasons these beats move so well through the UK scene is that the genre carries a lot of the same cadence that was present in some of the most adored sounds produced back in the golden age of garage. This is no coincidence, when Jersey club touched down in the UK in the early 2000s it had a massive influence on the garage, grime, and UK funky scenes. Jersey club was embraced by artists who used its inspiration to create new, harder-edged tracks. Its renewed impact over the past years has brought forward fresh and exciting talent in the music scene, if you want to know who’s going to help push forward the UK sound keep an eye on JXMESC, Ashbeck, Namani and Proph.

One of the best things about the rise in popularity of Jersey club beats is the increased female contributions taking place. What was once a heavily male-dominated scene has now been flipped on its head, there’s a multitude of evidence to suggest that women are a majority in the Jersey club community, and although this isn’t necessarily the same in terms of production, exceptional female artists are redefining that reality through unabashed skill. With artists like the aforementioned Cookiee Kawaii and New Jersey’s own UNiiQU3 bringing wider levels of visibility and accessibility to the culture. 

Some people like to say UK music is tired or played out, that somewhere all of the creativity and ingenuity that has brought us to this point has withered away and left in its stead a graveyard of half-embraced trends. If you can’t find original and exhilarating artists who are adapting their cross-cultural influences to develop new sounds, then you’re probably not looking well enough. That is precisely the effect that Jersey club beats are having on the sound of the UK suggesting that it will overtake Drill in the coming years. If you haven’t noticed it yet, soon come.

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