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New Jersey sound

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New Jersey sound or Jersey sound is a genre of house music originating in Newark, New Jersey, during the early 1980s. It is a type of deep and garage house with an emphasis on soulful vocals influenced by Newark's gospel legacy.


The New Jersey sound originated in the 1980s. Places like Club Zanzibar in Newark, New Jersey, where DJ Tony Humphries began his residency in 1982, helped "spawn the sometimes raw but always soulful, gospel-infused subgenre" of deep house music known as the Jersey sound.[1][2] Besides the term "New Jersey house", there are alternative names for the genre: "In the UK, for fairly unfathomable reasons, it became known as garage music (named after the Paradise Garage in New York), while in NJ itself they simply called it club (or perhaps more pertinently, the Jersey sound," Mix Mag reported in July 2020.[3] Newark female singers remixed by house music DJ Larry Levan included Gwen Guthrie ("Ain't Nothin' Goin On But The Rent") and Taana Gardner ("Heartbeat").

In 1992, Union County's Aly-Us released their deep-house hit "Follow Me."[4]

Abigail Adams's house-music record label and store, Movin’ Records in Newark's neighbor East Orange, was another contributor to the Jersey Sound.[5]

The Jersey club scene also gave rise to the ball culture scene in Newark hotels and nightclubs.[6] "Queen of House" Crystal Waters and other house luminaries performed on the Newark scene. DJ Kerri Chandler, another Zanzibar DJ, was another pioneer of the "Jersey sound" variety of house music. Jersey artists like Jomanda, with the crossover hit "Got a Love for You," found success in the early 90s house music scene.

Some have said that "when New York went to rap [during this period], Jersey stayed with the club. Because of Zanzibar.”[6]


Annual summer events like the Roselle House Music Festival in Warinanco Park,[7][8] the Trenton House Music Festival, the Weequahic Park House Music Festival, the Plainfield House Music Festival in Cedar Brook Park and the Lincoln Park Music Festival attract families and house music enthusiasts, also known as "househeads," dedicated to the classic 1980s Jersey sound.[9]

See also[edit]

  • Latin freestyle, a genre of dance music popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the New Jersey area


  1. ^ "The Newark Sound". Newest Americans. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  2. ^ "Jersey club: From Newark to the world". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  3. ^ "The 20 best New Jersey house records". Mixmag. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  4. ^ "Aly-Us "Follow Me" | Insomniac". Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  5. ^ "The story of Abigail Adams and New Jersey's Movin' Records". The Vinyl Factory. 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  6. ^ a b "History of Queer Club Spaces in Newark | Queer Newark". queer.newark.rutgers.edu. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  7. ^ "Thousands Come Out for the 6th Annual Roselle House Music Festival". TAPinto.
  8. ^ "7th Annual Roselle House Music Festival". NewJerseyStage.com. June 13, 2022.
  9. ^ "Magic's Royal Productions House Music Events & Festivals". Magicsroyal. Retrieved 2020-07-09.