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Nightcore is the glorified term to describe the style of speeding up Eurodance, Hands Up and Trance, emerged in the mid 2000s on YouTube. It is characterized by a tempo of between 160 and 180 beats per minute with high-pitched vocal. It is originated by the Norwegian DJ duo of the same name back in 2002.
Since 2011, nightcore has been also massively misused to describe sped up version of various music genres.
In 2002, Norwegian student Thomas S. Nilse (aka DJ TNT) and Steffen Ojala Søderholm (aka DJ SOS), both were born in 1986 in north of Norway, started off the first track for a school project. After being told by the teacher they will score 4+ for one song, they eventually made their first CD Energized which consisted of 13 tracks using the software Dance eJay 3 and they scored 6 for the project.
Thomas S. Nilse and Steffen Ojala Søderholm used the duo name Nightcore, “Nightcore means that we are the core of the night, so you’ll dance all night long”. After their first CD released in 2002, Nightcore using more advanced software, released four more albums. The CDs were given to local DJs and whoever interested.
Nightcore on the internet can be summarized into the following:
- Original Nightcore songs emerge on the Internet (2006-2007)
- Nightcore Dance MV & AMV (2006-present)
- Fan-made nightcore songs (2008-present)
- Misunderstanding of nightcore (2011-present)
- Nightcore slowly recognized by the music industry (2011-present)
LimeWire is the known first platform of distributing original Nightcore songs. However, as LimeWire was shut down in 2010, the origin of Nightcore songs on LimeWire is lost. During 2006 and 2007, only few Nightcore songs were uploaded to YouTube, including Dam Dadi Doo, Don’t You, Where Are You Now, all used in Kingdom Hearts AMVs.
Since late 2006, Nightcore songs began to be used in various AMV (Anime Music Videos) and dance MV uploaded to YouTube and slowly gaining attention.
From 2008 to 2010, both original Nigtcore songs and fan-made Nightcore songs were gradually being more popular and more songs were available. In 2008, Maikel631 started his channel on 9 February. Another early fan-made nightcore song channel is Nasinocinesino (aka VortexVK, Nasinocinesino1 and Nightek1 ). His accounts are suspended several times and he will “move on Dailymotion to find some peace from the copyright of Youtube.”  In 2008, one of the remaning major fan-made nightcore songs uploader was oShyGuyzo who uploaded 17 fan-made nightcore songs on YouTube labelled “Nightcore II”.
In 2009, more fan-made nightcore channels started to run. Including Svetlana89, NightcoreVIIFan, MuffinWolf, 174005, LILMUFFINGIRL1, Linus Persson, Michel van Ravestein, Indyapa Productions, kimchi4fun and Ralphie Cee. Svetlana89 is one of the longest running nightcore channel, being active till April 2013. One of the major fan-made Nightcore uploader was and who uploaded 201 Nightcore and Trance songs on YouTube.
In 2010, one of the major Nightcore uploader was Lanta111 who uploaded 81 Nightcore songs onYouTube labeled “Nightcore III”. The account went inactive in mid 2012.
In 2011, one of the major Nightcore uploader was AliceBloodRabbit who uploaded 45 Nightcore songs on YouTube. That same year, the most popular Nightcore uploader Maikel631 ’s YouTube account was suspended due to copyright strikes then he started his second channel Maikel6311. His account has now reached over 66,000 subscribers and 37 millions of views.
Ever since the first fan-made nightcore song emerged on YouTube, there have been few sped up non techno/dance songs uploaded to YouTube labelled “Nightcore”. Since the midyear of 2011, the amount of sped up pop, rock, hip hop/rap songs labelled “Nightcore” on YouTube increased rapidly. Some of the songs were great hits, accumulating millions of views. After the bloom of “fake” nightcore songs, nightcore was misunderstood as sped up and high pitched version of any song.
As first Nightcore song on YouTube is unknown due to video got deleted over years, but one of the earliest upload is “DAM DADI DO” by Wassabi Productions. The follow is a reupload of the. Although the time of the original video being uploaded is unknown, both outro of the following videos are both Stop That Time (misnamed to Me and My Lover in Wassabi Productions’ video), suggesting the second video is watching Wassabi Productions’ video, and Wassabi Productions’s video was uploaded before 23 Aug 2006.
Dam Dadi Doo AMV
The first AMV was Dam Dadi Doo- Powerpuffgirls Z uploaded on August 26, 2006. The audio is of bad quality and may not work with the latest Flash Player. It can be played with Audacity or VLC after download. The song name and the artist, is mentioned in the description.
The first popular uploaded Nightcore song is Dam Dadi Doo used in a Kingdom Hearts AMV on September 20, 2006. The artist name Nightcore was not mentioned in the description but it was in other AMV description later.
The first use of “nightcore” for music release is The Nightcore Files Vol. 1, released by German producer Akira Sun on August 5, 2011. The recpetion was genrealy negative from the nightcore community Nightcore Universe. Two moderators of the community replied to Akira Sun’s thread about the release, stated he “completely missed the idea of what Nightcore is”.DCX is the second artist who released nightcore version of their songs. The first release is Fortune & Fate (Nightcore Version) on July 20, 2013 followed by 8 more (Nightcore Version) and (Nightcore Speed Mix). The official nightcore versions are generally slower and lower pitch than the usual nightcore song.
Releases By Other Labels
The first popularized releases is album Dreamworld, released by DeathNetStudios on February 07, 2013. No original artist is credited, all artists are stated “Nightcore”. The album includes songs from both nightcore genre and non-nightcore genre including dubstep and rock. It is unknown whether the album is released by the actual Norwegian DJ duo Nightcore or they are being impersonated. DeathNetStudios is, stated by a Nightcore Universe member claimed to be a former employee, bankrupt now and completely inactive. There are more random labels using “Nightcore” as artist selling random sped up songs, including Rexo, Nightcore, Maxi Bass and Nightcore Haven. Some audio qualities of the songs sold by the above labels are even worse than the ones on YouTube.
After the success of fan-made nightcore music on YouTube, different genres/styles of EDM started to be experimented to be altered speed and pitch, and uploaded on YouTube labelled with “night-” prefix. The most notable derivation is nightstep. Nightstep first appeared in late 2011. It is created by speeding up a dubstep song. The first nightstep song (to be found in 2014) was uploaded on September 6 2011 by NightCoreMixes, named “Night Step- Sudden Rush”.
Search queries for Nightcore have risen steadily since 2011 when the overwhelming number of sped up pop, rock, hip hop/rap songs labelled “Nightcore” emerged on YouTube.
Nightcore Universe – Selling Nightcore songs/use of “Nightcore” in music industry
Nightcore Universe – Akira Sun – The Nightcore Files Vol.2 – 11.11.2011 – OUT NOW
Nightcore Universe – Nightcore radio station thread on Nightcore Universe p.2