A talent I picked up from being chronically online is the ability to pinpoint the moment when old trends come back to the mainstream. I was scrolling through TikTok the other day when I was hit with the sensation of déjà vu. For context, my for you page is full of different fan-made edits of their favorite TV shows and characters. A common trait many “fancams” feature on TikTok is using sped up songs with pitched up audio. After hours of watching edits, I came to a halting realization: it’s all Nightcore music!
Where DId Nightcore Come From?
Back in 2001, Nightcore was coined by Norwegian DJs Thomas S. Nilsen and Steffen Ojala Søderholm. Under the stage names of DJ TNT and DJ SOS, respectively, they created the Nightcore sound for a school project. The basis of their newly developed style consisted of speeding up a track by 30%. This was to match the common 180 bpm of popular eurodance music at that time. The name Nightcore means “We are the core of the night, so you’ll dance all night long!” With its rising popularity, the duo became a huge sensation on the internet and the growing video platform, YouTube, in 2006.
After Eurovision 2011, a video of Estonian performer Getter Jaani singing “Rockefeller Street” went viral. Following its fame, a “Nightcore edit” of the song from a user known as Andrea was posted. Soon, other users began to create edits of their favorite pop and hip-hop music by pitching the song up and increasing its speed. Later, these edits became widely popular on SoundCloud and soon the mainstream. It then found itself in two common areas: club music and internet memes.
NightCore and TikTok
As mentioned before, users on TikTok who create fancams enjoy using sped up edits of their favorite songs. However, the actual term “Nightcore” is nowhere to be seen on any tags or captions. This could be explained because of the wave of new internet users today who were too young to remember Nightcore’s peak popularity in the 2010s. Nonetheless, the editing style and pitched up music used in the fancams today echo the style of just over a decade ago. What is interesting is how these edits are popular in anime fan bases, similar to how Nightcore was popular in the same community. History might not exactly repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme!
Sped up songs that are currently trending on TikTok
Personally, I remember saving Nightcore edits from SoundCloud onto my old iPod touch. Something about speeding up my favorite songs gave my 10-year-old self a burst of energy. It was almost like I can envision myself in a fancam edit. Hopefully, the younger viewers today get to have that same experience as I once had. It’s refreshing to see that the sound of Nightcore still lives on, despite others not even knowing the full extent of it!