Producer, DJ and performer Uniiqu3 – real name Cherise Gray – is the queen of the New Jersey music scene. Championing an energetic genre of electronic music that has elements of both house and hip-hop, she has transitioned from spunky vocalist to beloved multi-hyphenate in a few short years. Exploding onto the scene in a multi-coloured burst of hair dye, crochet and decorated acrylic nails, her 2021 track ‘Microdosing’ became a fan favourite amongst arse-flapping clubgoers.
Since then, the artist has been booked and busy, releasing music every few months including her pulse-heavy EP Heartbeats and dynamic singles ‘Shake The Room’ (with Bronx-born duo Dos Flakos) and ‘Body Moves’, (a turbocharged bouncer with Glitch Mob and Samurai Breaks).
Moving into 2024 with an established sound and unapologetic reputation, Uniiqu3 is taking up space in all the best ways. With affirmed nods from publications like Billboard and Vice, Uniiqu3 has applied the bouncing bravado she has become known for to a new single entitled ‘Price Going Up’. Fast, bombastic and abrasive in all the best ways, the release is a collab with fellow dance music pundits Black Caviar. A lyrical whirlwind reflecting the rambunctious optimism Uniiqu3 carries with her throughout life, the song is set up to be the ultimate hit. The sonification of, as the kids say, “making it rain”, the zesty beat announces on a megaphone that 2024 is Uniiqu3’s year. With this in mind, we sat down with the artist to talk about the new release, her style inspirations and any upcoming artists she thinks we should have on our radar.
1. Let’s get acquainted – in 3 words, who is Uniiqu3?
“Jersey Club Queen.”
2. How would you describe your sound?
“Well, my sound is energetic no matter if it’s Jersey Club or Pop. I like to make music that empowers you so it not only sounds good it makes you feel good.”
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
“Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj when it comes to rapping they’re creative and about their pen. Kylie Minogue & MIA as far as creative melodies and Aaliyah & Janet Jackson when I’m in my singing bag. I also listened to a lot of Dipset growing up. They had the best samples in their beats.”
4. You released your newest single ‘Price Going Up’ today – what do you want listeners to feel when they listen to it?
“I want them to feel empowered enough to stand on business. I feel like this track is a three-minute boost of energy like a can of Celius but in a song.”
5. How was it working with Black Caviar?
“It was a lot of fun. Those guys are full of energy and cool ideas. We usually gather in the studio to record in person too which usually brings out the best in me when I lay down vocals.”
6. You have an exciting US tour supporting Tinashe coming up – what is your favourite thing about playing live?
“My favourite thing about touring live is that I can add different elements to my show than when I’m playing a party. It’s a lot more curated to be the best of UNIIQU3 musically and I get to bring my dancers to accompany me on stage.”
7. Club or bar?
8. Your style is really bold and colourful – who are your style inspirations?
“My fashion is a blend of subversive rave, kitsch camp vibes. I’m very into textures and how things lay on my curves. My biggest style inspirations are Rihanna and Gwen Stefani in the ’00s.”
9. Who’s another upcoming artist everyone should have on their radar?
“I’ve really been into Lilithzplug, They’re a digital girl group of triplets. They make such angelic alt-pop, it’s cute and I’m really excited to see what Aliyah Interlude blossoms into.”
10. What’s your go-to track when you DJ that is sure to get everyone dancing?
“My collaboration with Dos Flakos. ‘Shake the Room’ literally get the room Shakin’!”
Photography by Tedra Wilson.