In a short period of time, Nia Archives has pioneered the revival of jungle music by leading a generation of ravers into her futuristic take on the genre.
Every music scene has an artist who has a generational impact on the genre and leads the way for those aspiring to follow. For jungle music, it’s London-based phenomenon – Nia Archives. Jungle was one of the biggest genres that came through the early rave days when it received great commercial success. But then came a period of slowdown where it slid down the pecking order, with drum & bass, dubstep, and UKG taking over the reins.
In recent years, we have seen jungle music undergo a sensational revival, and Nia Archives is at the forefront of it. Producer, singer, songwriter, filmmaker – there are many roles the artist dons, but her rave-oriented style of music is bringing nostalgia back into jungle with her trademark ‘future-classic’ touch.
Nia Archives was recently awarded ‘BBC Music Introducing Artist of the Year’ for her fresh take on jungle. The award made her the first electronic artist to win the accolade since its introduction in 2014. As the groundbreaking artist takes another step in her seismic rise, we’ll take a look at Nia Archives’ evolution as a powerful force to be reckoned with.
It was only April 2021 when Bradford-born Nia Archives made her debut, but it feels like she has been a part of the summit for a decade. Released on HIJINXX, Nia put together a stunning collection of tunes that demonstrated well-constructed layers of chords bedded over lo-fi jungle breaks with a tinge of retro soul to it. A remarkable debut release that received widespread critical acclaim while bringing in her love for the Soundsystem culture.
AN INCOMING SONIC VOLCANO
After a sensational debut release, Nia Archives practically broke the scene with her follow-up EP. Featuring jungle breakbeats influenced by soul, jazz and R&B, along with dreamy melodies and neo-soul vocals, Nia didn’t just cement her footing in the scene but made it clear that she is at the forefront of it.
If you look at the artwork of the ‘Forbidden Feelingz’ EP, you see a bunch of names and faces that inspired Nia during her formative years; right from Kemistry, Storm, Roni Size, Angela Davis, to Harriet Tubman and Burial. And the beauty of the EP is that she merged all these influences that betokened her life experiences with old skool sounds that are focused on the dancefloor.
A SCENE LEADER
For someone that made her debut just over a year ago, who would have thought Nia Archives would go on to lead the charge for jungle music’s revival? Collaborating with the likes of Watch The Ride on ‘Mash Up The Dance’ – a tune that took over clubs across the UK and Europe, followed by a tune with Clipz; Nia also worked with Mall Grab on a heavy duty vocal house tune that was a part of his latest album. Her latest tune is a break-neck take on jungle, featuring Brazilian vocal samples that have glass-shattering abilities.
With her meteoric rise, Nia Archives is taking her love for old school garage and jungle forward, to create experiences that are firmly planted into Caribbean roots she grew up with to pioneer the genre; while also paving a way for black womxn in music across the world.
It is also important to note that Nia Archives was under the mentorship of the legendary DJ Flight’s leadership as part of EQ50’s mentorship program, which focuses on spotting and nurturing female-identifying or non-binary producers. So, if you are an aspiring female or non-binary producer looking for a platform to develop your skills in bass music – look no further than EQ50.