May 27, 2024

The Best Up and Coming Musicians out of New Jersey

🇺🇦 Side-Line stands with Ukraine - Show your Support

New Jersey has been the birthplace of some of the biggest musicians the world has seen. Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and the Fugees all got their start and rose to fame in the Garden State. 

New Jersey is rich with musical talent, with artists finding fame and popularity every day. Here are the artists that are not only making New Jersey proud, but should find their way onto your playlists. 

Lex Rex and the Dragons

Lex Rex has been tearing up the Jersey music scene since becoming one of the artists who wrapped up the tail-end of the 2018 Warped tour. Her music is a mix of Madonna and Nirvana, with a whole lot of her talent thrown in. 

She has also shown herself to be an artist that can make music for anyone. Her EP is filled with tunes that range from slow and emotional, to heavier rock-style music, and everything in between. 


Every city has that one experimental artist that everyone talks about, and in the case of New Jersey, that artist is Blaise. Similar to Bjork in a few ways, his lyrics and delivery are eerie, which he layers with some very catchy synths. 

While Blaise has been on the Jersey music scene for a few years now, he hasn’t quite broken out just yet. However, with two new albums, both showing a different side of the artist, the next few months are looking like they might be his big break. 

Little Hag

Little Hag may be an unfamiliar name to many, but the poetess once went by Avery Mandville. An artist who doesn’t shy away from political messages, she is a mix of upbeat sounds and thought-provoking lyrics and messages. 

Little Hag is most definitely an artist for the current generation. There are no messages or mental pictures she won’t create, singing about depression, bodily fluids, weapons, and everything else that may make some a bit uncomfortable. 

Real Estate

A group that is now onto their fifth album, Real Estate should be a well-recognized name at this stage. They are the embodiment of the quiet guy in the corner that can’t stop saying stuff that makes everyone around them think. 

Their music is calming, yet you spend the whole time contemplating what is being said, how it applies to your life, and how it is a mirror of the world today. They deal with deep issues but do it in a way that is accessible and very enjoyable. 

person playing drums

Drew the Recluse

Drew the Recluse is an artist that in many ways is incredibly unique, but also makes music for anyone to listen to. He layers powerful and soulful lyrics, with beats that incorporate trap, R&B, and rock. 

His influences are also evident in his music. He cites Michael Jackson, Bjork, and Kanye West as some of his biggest music idols. His varied ability and sound are something you have to hear to truly appreciate. 

Bottled Blonde

man playing acoustic guitar selective focus photography

Hailing from the Jersey Shore, Bottled Blonde is an almost folk-sounding group with some incredible guitar riffs and dreamy beats thrown in. The band is fronted by Mackenzie Brown, whose voice is calming and hypnotic. 

Their first EP, released in 2019, takes you on a journey that feels almost magical. If this first album is a sign of things to come, Bottled Blonde is going to be the band on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the coming months. 

J Hacha de Zola

Strange, bizarre, catchy, and manic are but a few of the words you can use to describe J Hacha de Zola’s music. He is the modern-day equivalent of an old-time circus performer and dust-bowl musician, and you can sense this eclectic mix in his music. 

His music might be unconventional, but when you take a second to listen properly, you realize the jumpy vocals and beats are incredibly catchy and memorable, and they will make you want to head to one of his shows the first chance you get. 

Kay Lyles

The R&B and rap scene is still going strong in Jersey, and Kay Lyles is one of the voices leading the way. The artist is hoping to be the next big “weed rapper”, and considering he has already released an EP, an album, and two singles in the past 2 years, he has enough material to make it happen. 

He has also made it known that he will be expanding his repertoire in the coming months, branching into R&B, but will first be releasing a project named ‘Long Story”, dedicated to what is happening in his life. The Rap scene is flooded with talent, and Kay Lyles is putting in the work to stand out. 


Hard Rock is alive and well in New Jersey, with bands such as Zenora keeping the much-loved genre going. A group influenced by arena rock, progressive rock, and 80’s metal, their inspirations are evident on their self-titled EP and their “Bring Back Rock and Roll” album. 

A band that is still flying under the radar, Zenora has been gaining popularity over the past few months and will be going on tour in the second part of 2021, provided the pandemic doesn’t halt their plans. 

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can - and we refuse to add annoying advertising. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

The donations are safely powered by Paypal.

Select a Donation Option (USD)

Enter Donation Amount (USD)

Verified by MonsterInsights