Nia Archives is a self-styled ‘emotional junglist’, and the DJ, producer, singer and songwriter is bringing jungle back. 

Known for her energetic stage presence and heartfelt songwriting, her sound takes inspiration from original pioneers of jungle like Goldie, Lemon D, and Roni Size. However, her sound challenges tradition by injecting pop-inspired melodies and feminine lyricism into the historically male-dominated genre. 

This summer, she begins her worldwide tour supporting her debut album Silence Is Loud by hosting a rave on a train to Glastonbury. And, having already earned accolades like Best Producer, Best Breakthrough Producer, and Best Dance Act, she is leading the new generation of jungle producers bringing the genre back into the spotlight. 

The Pioneers

Popularised in the 1990s, jungle was largely influenced by sound system culture, brought to the UK by Jamaican migrants in the 60s. Alongside this, the backdrop of Detroit techno and the emerging UK rave scene inspired a new electronic sound. 

Original jungle pioneers sampled from a wide variety of musical sources, from reggae and soul to punk, and even classical music. 

Also central to the sound is the DIY approach, with many self-taught producers making tracks in their own homes, rather than expensive studios.

The New Generation

While jungle never disappeared from the underground scene, the end of the 90s saw a decline in its mainstream popularity, as a more minimal drum & bass sound gained prominence. 

In 2024, a new generation of junglists including Sully, Tim Reaper, and SHERELLE are reviving the genre.

Nia Archives is spearheading this effort. From supporting Beyoncé's Renaissance tour to performing at Coachella, she is reintroducing jungle to the mainstream.

But what makes her sound so attractive to wider audiences?

The Data

Using Musiio Tag, we analyse how her sound differs from other jungle tunes, both from the archives and today.

We analysed 30 of the most popular jungle tracks from the 90s, and 21 of the most popular recent jungle tracks. Then, we compared that to an analysis of Nia Archives’ debut album Silence Is Loud. 

Here’s what we found. 

The key difference with Nia Archive’s latest album Silence Is Loud, is that it prominently features the Pop genre tag – something we don’t see at all with other jungle.

Digging into the data, the Musiio tagging AI detects Electronic and Drum & Bass genres for all three data sets. So, we can clearly see a musical through-line.

Nia Archives is still undeniably a junglist. But by blending chaotic drum patterns with relatable pop-inspired lyrics and vocals, she is able to make jungle easily digestible for the masses, contributing to her commercial success. 

It’s not just her pop sensibilities that stand out in the data. We can also see the influences of Folk and Indie genres in her sound – perhaps reflecting her love for Britpop.

She is unapologetic about taking inspiration from a wide range of genres she loves, just like the pioneers of the 90s. 

As well as experimenting with disparate sounds in her home studio, like her jungle forebears, she also takes a particular approach to writing that informs her distinct style.

She writes her lyrics in the seclusion of her bedroom, she told RA, which helps her to channel vulnerability into her songs.

And when we analyse the moods of her latest album Silence Is Loud, we can see the result above. 

New-gen jungle, 90’s jungle, and Silence Is Loud all share Restless and Frantic tags, but Nia’s sound has also been tagged with Heartfelt and Melancholy moods.

There’s no faulting her approach. She perfectly balances authenticity, with high energy and themes of heartbreak, making her music perfect for both Boiler Room sets and breakup playlists, expanding the scope of how listeners can enjoy jungle.

Jungle is back

Fundamentally, Silence Is Loud is the perfect expression of Nia Archives’ identity as an ‘emotional junglist’. 

Jungle never left, but Nia Archives’ interpretation of the sound has brought it out of the raves and into the charts. Her blend of emotive lyricism, intense jungle drum breaks, and pop-inspired melodies have garnered mass appeal, once again putting jungle in the spotlight.

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