CLUBJERSEY Awards 2014: Best Original

The diversity of the tracks on this list just lend to how strong the Jersey club scene is at the moment. All of the tracks could each represent a sub-

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Complex Original

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Ed. Note: This category is for the best original track that the Jersey club scene experienced this year. The tracks that were considered for this award are as of a result of the opinions of arghtee (CLUBJERSEY Founder) and people who were on our panel. People on the panel put forward their thoughts on who they thought should be considered for an award, but the final decision, and the article write up, was by arghtee.

Pre-word: The diversity of the tracks on this list just lend to how strong the Jersey club scene is at the moment. All of the tracks could each represent a sub-genre that the scene has, from Trippy Turtle and his sophisticated style of club music, to Lil Man and the dance he has all of Newark (and Jersey) memorizing and dancing along to.

In many cases these tracks only became so prominent due to social media sharing and strong video plays. Either in the form of an official polished video, or fans actively recording themselves (the latter being the most effective).

DJ 809 - "Phone Anthem" and "Phone Anthem 2"

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Whilst this track from 809 could certainly use some polishing, it captures the raw elements of what makes a popping club track. The imagination that goes into using the dial tone to make a track has resulted in a number of Vines circulating the Internet which feature the track (producers trying to find avenues for their music can find new listeners need to take notice). Whilst the track actually only last for 48 bars, and along with the intro lasts just one minute and 12 seconds, the ingenuity and its resulting emergence into Internet culture lands it a spot on this list.

Sharaya J - "Takin’ It No More" (prod. by Jayhood)

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This song showcases how an established Jersey club producer such as DJ Jayhood can collaborate with an established singer, Sharaya J, to produce a track which could be described as a hybrid Jersey cub/hip-hop song. What’s more, the back story to this track sheds light on some of the parties paying attention to the scene at the moment, as both Jayhood and Sharaya J are Missy Elliott co-signs. It’s great to see legends such as Missy Elliott taking an interest in the culture, and from the video and song it’s clear Missy Elliott is trying to infuse her own trademark style into her protégés.

Comparisons can be drawn to “Jasmine/Back Up On It” in many aspects and it’s interesting to how each track is being pushed to a different audience. Mad Decent, the label responsible for “Jasmine," notoriously have a strong EDM following so naturally it seems that that would be the audience that is consuming this track. Missy Elliott, on the other hand, is obviously an artist that commands a strong hip-hop presence, so the listener base should theoretically be different. However efficient these different approaches are, and whatever the crossover of listeners, it’s amazing to the horizons being broadened and efforts being made by established music entities to push Jersey club.

DJ Sliick - "BBE Challenge"

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Although certainly not the most technically proficient track, "BBE Challenge" and other tracks by the VMG collective have generated a strong teen listener base and has had teens sharing videos of themselves “double tapping” all over the Internet. “Double tapping” in itself started with the "BBE Challenge," and came out of nowhere to become an accompaniment to the tracks made by the VMG teens. The combination of the dance and the music has made “double tapping” one of the most popular trends the Jersey club scene has witnessed this year.

The track is irrefutably Jersey club even though it doesn’t follow the classic kick pattern. The vocal chops and the sample selection are of the same style that have been prevalent for years, but what makes this track special is its crossover appeal. I have personally heard it played alongside grime and R&G on numerous occasions in some of London’s biggest underground clubs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was being dropped by DJs all over Europe.

Trippy Turtle - "Trippy’s Theme"

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Trippy Turtle has been an influential figure in the scene this year. Infusing elements of Jersey club with his own style and sounds, Trippy has spread the gospel of club to new found fans on the West Coast and out in Europe who have found solitude with the Trippy Turtle persona.

Trippys rise hit its pinnacle point (or so it seemed) with “Trippys Theme”, and ended up being Trippy Turtles final release for a good period, until he dropped "FoFo" in December. "Trippy’s Theme" was signed to Mad Decent and received an official video, in cartoon style of course, which featured cameos from RiFF RAFF, Cashmere Cat, and members of the FoFoFadi crew.

The reason many listeners have fallen in love with Trippy Turtles music is exemplified in this track. The track is sophisticated rather than aggressive, aggression usually being a key element in a club track. The smooth beat is accompanied with a soft vocals that were provided by Santell.

This track was the first time a label as big as Mad Decent showed their interest in the Jersey club scene, and was the first of many tracks they have come to officially endorse from the scene.

Dougie F and DJ Fire - "Back Up On It (Jasmine)"

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Picked up in its early stages and polished after being signed to Mad Decent, “Back Up On It” (aka “Jasmine”) will be known as a Jersey club anthem for years to come. The track features everything you’d expect a Jersey club anthem to include, the club kick pattern, the bed squeaks, and most importantly of all, an instantly recognizable lead instrument. The lead sound plays the same five notes throughout the entirety of the track, and manages to stay catchy throughout the full three minutes it is repeated.

The track also received a polished video directed by way of Lil Internet and showcases Newark and Jersey in all of its gritty glory. The video really brings through the character of the area and has cameos from many members in Cartel Music.

Nadus - "Nxwxrk"

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Every now and then a scene experiences a track that has people questioning what makes up the genre they are a part of. Is it the sample selection of the producers, the structure of the songs? Tracks like Nadus' "Nxwxrk" give Jersey club hope to become more than just a genre. Tracks like "Nxwxrk" make it a scene, a movement, a lifestyle. Sure, the Jersey club kick pattern has become known as “the heartbeat” amongst producers and listeners alike, but how long can a genre be limited to a certain structure before it becomes boring and repetitive?

The scene is in dire need of new tracks to take it to new direction for 2015 and beyond, and "Nxwxrk" is the track that producers can look to. Mixed down to a "T," with synths that elevate the listener, the track has almost been made to be played on big occasions.

"Nxwxrk" does not feature a bed squeak, or a five kick pattern at any point during the track. But that’s what makes it such a good track. The track has also received reworks by RL Grime and Sliink, with Sinjin Hawke on the credits on SoundCloud for the mixdown for the Sliink remix.

"Nxwxrk" is the track that is going to be played by producers all over the world, and to have them play a track that has Jayhood shouting “Jersey” will no doubt bring exposure to the scene. The final thing that makes "Nxwxrk" such an important track is the fact that all proceeds from the Broke City EP go to NJ’s Newark Boys Chorus School. Wow. Hats off to Nadus and Pelican Fly.

DJ LilMan - "Team LilMan Anthem" (prod. by 93rd)

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Produced by 93rd and originally released as “5 On It” in June, “5 On It” just seemed to miss a little something something and it blended in with all of 93rd’s other tracks a little too easily. And that’s where LilMan came in and did what LilMan does best: stamp his authority on a track.

LilMan got the track mixed down, put his vocals on it and got his team behind the track. That is how we ended up where we are now as the track has got an official video along with a designated dance and has accumulated millions of hits on SoundCloud and YouTube. That’s not mentioning all the other unofficial videos of people doing the dance in McDonald's and Walmart.

Again, this is another independent artist coming up from the Jersey club scene who is going places due to hard work and putting together a strategy to really conquer social media. That’s not taking anything away from the track itself though, I replayed the song so many times the day it came out that my neighbors were coming over exclaiming to stop playing the ”Who Else!” song.

Although "Nxwxrk" has received the Do Androids Dance best track of 2014 accolade, and being an important track for the scene this year, it would be unfair not to give the title of Best Original Track 2014 to “Team Lil Man Anthem." It’s the song that has had the whole of Jersey on smash and it’s exciting to see what Team Lil Man have in store for us in 2015. Jerseeeeyyyyy.

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