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Nightcore refers to a practice of speeding up Eurodance and trance music that emerged in the-mid 2000s on YouTube. The edits are characterized by high-pitched vocals and the tempo of between 160 and 180 beats per minute. The genre is commonly associated with anime, with many YouTube thumbnails for Nightcore remixes featuring anime art. Nightcore songs have been particularly popular in the rhythm-based video game osu!.


In 2001, Norwegian students Thomas S. Nilse (aka DJ TNT) and Steffen Ojala Søderholm (aka DJ SOS), both born in northern Norway in 1986,[1] composed their first music track for a school project.[2][3] After presenting the track to their teacher, the students received a 4 grade (C on the international scale). For the second round of their project, Nilse and Søderholm recorded their first 13-track EP Energized using Dance eJay 3 software . According to Nilse,[6] the album was praised as "sounding as if made by professionals", and "they naturally scored a 6 in their school project".

Nilse and Søderholm named their duo Nightcore; "Nightcore means that we are the core of the night, so you'll dance all night long".[5] After releasing Energized in 2002 (cover shown below), the duo released four more albums composed using more advanced software.[5] Nightcore gave CDs to local DJs and anyone who showed interest in their music.[3]

In a 2011 interview,[3] Nightcore cited German happy hardcore band Scooter and the band's high-pitched vocals as one of their inspirations.

History of the Genre

The spread and the following popularity Nightcore on the internet can be summarized in the following timeline:

  • Initial exposure (2006-2007)
  • Nightcore Dance music videos & AMV (2006-present)
  • Fan-made Nightcore songs (2008-present)
  • Deviate "misunderstood" Nightcore (2011-present)
  • Nightcore recognized by the music industry (2011-present)

Now-defunct P2P file sharing client LimeWire is the first platform known to have been used to distribute original Nightcore songs. Between 2006 and 2008, only several Nightcore songs were uploaded to YouTube,[38][39] including "Dam Dadi Doo," "Don't You" and "Where Are You Now," all of which were used in Kingdom Hearts AMVs (examples shown below, left and right).

Starting in late 2006, Nightcore songs started to be used in various AMVs (Anime Music Videos) and dance MVs uploaded to YouTube, slowly gaining interest. Following the initial spread

Between 2008 to 2010, as original Nightcore remixes gradually gained popularity, and fan-made remixes inspired by the band's music were made. On the 9 February, 2008, producer Maikel631 started his original YouTube channel.[14][41] In 2008, Nightek1[42][43] aka Nasinocinesino started actively uploading their Nightcore remixes, with his accounts suspended several times due to copyright violations and Nightek1 temporarily moving to Dailymotion.[15] In 2008, producer oShyGuyzo[16][43] uploaded "Nightcore II," a collection of 17 fan-made Nightcore songs.

In 2009, more fan Nightcore channels appeared on YouTube, including YouTube users Svetlana89, NightcoreVIIFan, MuffinWolf, 174005, LILMUFFINGIRL1, Linus Persson, Michel van Ravestein, Indyapa Productions, kimchi4fun and Ralphie Cee. Svetlana89 was one of the longest-running Nightcore channels, remaining active April 2013 and making over 200 uploads. Between late 2009 and mid-2012, user Lanta111 uploaded 81 Nightcore songs.

In 2011, the next big Nightcore uploader was AliceBloodRabbit appeared, who uploaded a total of 45 Nightcore songs to YouTube. That same year the most popular Nightcore uploader, Maikel631, had his YouTube account suspended due to copyright infringements after which he started his second channel Maikel6311. His new account has reached over 66,000 subscribers and 37 million views.

Starting approximately in mid-2011, the misinterpretation of the new genre led to a large number of sped-up pop, rock and hip hop being uploaded and labeled as Nightcore. The earliest known example of this misuse is a June 6th, 2011, upload of "Missing" by Evanescence (shown below).

As many of such songs became popular and gained millions of views on YouTube, the understanding of Nightcore as music genre gradually broadened to include remixes of songs outside of trance and Eurodance genres, with the concept of Nightcore gradually evolving to mean a sped-up and pitch-shifted edit of a song of any genre.

As of April 2016, the list of Nightcore YouTube channels compiled by Nightcore community website Nightcore Universe[47] included over 170 names.

Nightcore MVs and AMVs

Prior to 2008, YouTube channel Wassabi Productions uploaded "Dancing With WASSABI!, one of the earliest uploads of a Nightcore Dance MV is "Dancing With WASSABI!," with Wassabi later reuploading it to his new channel.[45]

Dam Dadi Doo AMV

On August 26, 2006, YouTube user jen zoleta uploaded Nightcore AMV "Dam Dadi Doo- Powerpuffgirls Z," which is considered to be the first Nightcore AMV uploaded to the platform (video no longer available).[46] The audio in the video is of poor quality and the video source of the AMV appears to be of different origin as the video quality and resolution seem to change throughout the video.

On September 20th, 2006, YouTube user Jordyrocks512 uploaded a more popular Nightcore AMV "Kingdom Hearts – Dam Dadi Doo!" (shown below) helping start the Nightcore AMV trend on the platform.

Official Releases

The first recorded use of the word "Nightcore" in an official release is The Nightcore Files Vol. 1, released by German producer Akira Sun on August 5, 2011.[19] Within the Nightcore community, he reception of the album was generally negative from the Nightcore community. Two moderators of the Nightcore website Nightcore Universe replied to Akira Sun's thread about the release, stating he "completely missed the idea of what Nightcore is".[18] DCX is the second artist to have released Nightcore versions of their songs: his first release, Fortune & Fate (Nightcore Version) came out on July 20, 2013.

The first album to become popular within the Nightcore community is Dreamworld, released by DeathNetStudios on February 7th, 2013.[20] No original artist is credited, and all the artists featured are credited simply as "Nightcore". The album features remixes of to the original Nightcore genre and the expanded genre, including remixes of dubstep and rock tracks.


Following the success of fan-made Nightcore music on YouTube, different genres/styles of EDM started to be uploaded to YouTube under the "-core" suffix.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Nightcore official website (via Wayback Machine) – Biography

[2] Nightcore official Facebook page – Info

[3] Internet Archive – SuperSuper Magazine interview Nightcore

[4] Internet Archive – News on original Nightcore website

[5] Internet Archive – Biography on original Nightcore website

[6] Internet Archive – First three Nightcore albums

[7] Internet Archive – Nightcore MySpace page in July 2009

[8] Internet Archive – Hey… -- Nightcore blog entry on MySpace

[9] Internet Archive – ok here it is… -- Nightcore blog entry on MySpace

[10] – Caliente tracklist

[11] – Sensaciòn tracklist

[12] Google Trends – Web Search interest: nightcore, dam dadi doo, dam dadi do, nightstep – Worldwide, 2004 – present

[13] Nightcore Universe – BPM of all original Nightcore songs

[14] Facebook – Maikel631 info

[15] YouTube – Nightek1

[16] DI Radio – Nightcore on Digitally Imported

[17] Nightcore Universe – Selling Nightcore songs/use of "Nightcore" in music industry

[18] Nightcore Universe – Akira Sun – The Nightcore Files Vol.2 – 11.11.2011 – OUT NOW

[19] REASON MUSIC – Releases

[20] Obsolete source.

[21] Facebook – What type of music would you classify yours as?

[22] Facebook – can u do one of evenescence's songs?

[23] Nightcore Universe – Nightcore radio station thread on Nightcore Universe p.2

[24] YouTube – Nightcore – Maybe

[25] YouTube – Nightcore – Only Teardrops

[26] YouTube – Nightcore – Crazy In Love

[27] YouTube – Nightcore – Fortune & Fate

[28] YouTube – Nightcore – Send Me an Angel

[29] ItJustBugsMe – Related Discussion

[30] Google+ – Thx 4 adapting my remix – sounds interesting at that speed :) Cheers. Marc…

[31] Facebook – Always funny those nightcore versions!… – Lowcash

[32] Facebook – Always funny those nightcore versions!… – Lowcash

[33] YouTube – Nightcore- Wonderland

[34] YouTube – Nightcore- All Night

[35] YouTube – SkyMarshall Arts – Back in Time [Nightcore VII]

[36] YouTube – Nightcore – Don't Need A Thing

[37] Discogs – S3RL Feat. Tamika (4) – Nightcore This

[38] YouTube – Nightcore – Where Are You Now

[39] YouTube – Nightcore-Dam Da Di Do~Yuna

[40] YouTube (via Wayback Machine) – Maikel631

[41] YouTube – Maikel6311

[42] YouTube (via Wayback Machine) – Nasinocinesino

[43] YouTube – Nightek1

[44] YouTube – oShyGuyzo

[45] YouTube – Dancing With WASSABI!

[46] Internet Archive – Dam Dadi Doo- Powerpuffgirls Z

[47] Google Spreadsheet – Nightcore Channel Database v2

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Top Comments

Mistress Fortune
Mistress Fortune

So basically what I'm getting from this is that "nightcore" had it's start as a mostly legitimate sub-genre of electronic music, but due to a major misunderstanding of the genre it's name has become synonymous with "any random song sped up with an anime picture added." Basically "fake nightcore" is like when people make their own "fake Chipmunks" versions of a song, but it's sped up in addition to pitch sifted.

Kinda reminds me of how "dubstep," which had it's start as an underground UK garage genre, over time became more synonymous with the style of EDM music usually done by DJs like Skrillex and Noisia due to some misunderstandings (granted Skrillex has done some actual dubstep, but most everyone just labels him as general "EDM" now).


nightcore (n)
/ˈnaitːkɔr, -ːoʊr/
1. an offshoot of the hardcore techno genre of music, characterized by a more upbeat tone and less grating sound
2. YouTube dance mixes with pictures of anime girls in the background


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