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Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in Hometown Sounds

The Newark-bred DJ and producer shares how she breaks new and nostalgic ground with Serato Sample.

May 15, 2024

For UNIIQU3, the soul of her music starts on the dancefloor. Crafting hits like her 2018 breakout single “Microdosing,” remixes for artists like Chloe Bailey and Aluna George, and touring with Tinashe, the New Jersey native DJ and producer has always been guided by the many ways Jersey Club’s heavy pulse can make a crowd move. “It's just so dope to be behind the decks and have everybody in unison for that one moment, I even envision the lights and how they're going to accentuate everything,” she explains. “That's why we love shit like the Electric Slide and the Cha Cha Slide, because we all have that moment of unison.”

In the second episode of Serato’s Hometown Sounds, which also features fellow New Jersey icons Just Blaze and Rah Digga, Uniiqu3 takes us from her earliest beginnings to how Serato Sample and its revolutionary Stems technology helps her bring the past into the present and beyond.

Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>
Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i> L-R: Tricks, DJ Taj, DJ Jayhood, Nadus, DJ Sliink, K-Shiz  

After UNIIQU3 got her start as a DJ in Newark’s club scene spinning alongside established DJs like Jayhood and DJ Taj in the early 2010s, it was her skills as a classically trained pianist that led her to the first piece of equipment she learned to produce and sample on: a keyboard. “I got into sampling by listening to music, just hearing different club samples. Like, I was really into Dipset growing up, and any form of house music,” she explains. “When I learned how to produce, especially making original Jersey Club or dance music, I was like, wow, this is like a piano with a thousand instruments.The piano is kind of the fundamental one that you need to learn.”

Paired with her growing skills, UNIIQU3 started to make deep connections between Jersey Club, other dance genres, and their shared Black music roots—something that continues to inform her genre-bending DJ sets and other mediums like her TECHNO IS BLACK playlist. "We were always surrounded by house music, I thought it was just cookout music because that's where we used to," UNIIQU3 explained. "Jersey Club, Baltimore Club, and Philly Club, they were all native sounds to us but we never knew that it was a part of something greater."

Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i> Just Blaze, UNIIQU3  
Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i> UNIIQU3, Rah Digga  

Armed with the foundational rules of classical training, UNIIQU3 uses tools like Serato Sample, specifically its stem-separation technology, to break them. Serato Stems allows producers to isolate individual track elements by separating stems to pitch, slow down, chop, speed up or sync quicker and easier than before. “I think that this will be handy for everybody, no matter what level of producer you are,” she explains. “Because it's user friendly and it's quick. It's easy. Like, it's literally with the click of a button.. It's just definitely something that helps you.”

In the episode, UNIIQU3 works alongside rapper Rah Digga on a remix of her hit, “Party & Bullshit 2003,” using Serato Sample to take it from an already bouncy, Just Blaze-produced cut to a Jersey Club banger. “It was cool to take a classic from a Jersey artist, that I used to hear growing up, that didn't have a [readily available] acapella, that didn't have an instrumental, and separate all the stems to collaborate and just recreate something fresh for her,” she explains. “It was made a hundred times easier than just hoping that somebody has the files.”

Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>

Earlier this year when Chloe Bailey took the Coachella stage to UNIIQU3’s official remix of her single “Have Mercy,” it served as a full circle moment since the song samples UNIIQU3’s “Girls Off the Chain” featuring TT The Artist. “It's funny, we’re talking about Serato Sample and usually I'm the one doing the sampling, but I actually got introduced to [Chloe] because she sampled me,” she explains. “It's just been so cool to see, going from sampling to being sampled and being able to go back and forth with it.”

Counting Hip-Hop's golden era, film clips, and even conversations with friends as some of her favorite places to reach for samples, UNIIQU3 uses Serato Stems gives her the ability to bend the source material to her whims. “When you make Jersey Club, 9 times out of 10 you're creating an a capella or instrumental out of something that's already existing. Depending on when that song came out, the quality isn’t good when you separate it, or it's just not available online,” she elaborates. “Stems really help you isolate every layer in the song, so it's just helped me have a cleaner quality when remixing songs.”

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Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in <i>Hometown Sounds</i>

Jersey Club’s appeal has stretched far outside its regional roots for nearly two decades; with UNIIQU3 herself regularly spinning and working across North America, Europe, and Asia. Thanks to the digital globalization of sound, it rarely leaves the collective consciousness of fans—passive or die hard. “I feel like Jersey club came from a real place, and in this day and age you need that. Generation to generation, it's just really relatable,” UNIIQU3 says. “ It just promotes Black joy and I feel like my success represents Black women being able to step to the forefront and take ownership of something that they're a part of, too. I feel like that's why it's just so raw.”

Watch Hometown Sounds above.

Jersey Club Queen UNIIQU3 mixes the past, present, and future in Hometown Sounds