Accelerated Songs: Why Do Music Lovers Get Carried Away by Tik Tok’s Fast Hits?


RAYE kicked off 2023 with a bang earlier this month by releasing her first number one single in the UK. “Escapism”, which has 070 Shake and hints about “escaping from reality as quickly as possible”, steadily rose in the charts after its first release in October; its gradual growth was made possible thanks to remixes of the track created on social networks. Several dynamic versions of “Escapism” have been circulating on TikTok since its release and have voiced over 850,000 fan-created videos, from cleaning guides to “get ready with me” confessions. The official version of the track “Sped Up”, released in November, also scored more than 47 million listenings on Spotify, which totals 170 million listenings of “Escapism” — huge numbers for a proudly independent artist who recognized and used the creativity of her fans, and then reap the benefits of organic marketing that even huge record companies.

RAYE’s ode to hedonism is just the latest in a growing list of songs that have enjoyed widespread success on charts and streaming platforms due to the popularity of their subsequent fan remixes. Last year, Steve Lacey’s “Bad Habit” and Thundercat’s “Them Changes” received separate “Sped Up” releases after each went viral on TikTok, with the former eventually hitting the very top of the US Billboard Singles chart in October. This type of accelerated editing was coined as “night core” in honor of the duo of Norwegian DJs, who are first credited with introducing this subgenre back in 2010, when they began creating high-octane dance music, speeding up the tempo and changing the tempo. the pitch of the voice of existing tracks.

But despite the fact that online creators, social networking sites and even labels have felt the positive impact of these quick remixes, there are still questions about what the success of these “Speed Up” songs says about the current state of online listening habits and music ownership, as well as whether remixes created by fans will have, a positive impact on the industry as a whole. It is also worth clarifying here: what is the appeal of accelerated melodies?

“As our world changes and evolves, so does music,” says producer, performer and comedian Oliver Tree in an interview with NME. “The music that was the soundtrack of the youth of the 60s will not be connected with the youth of 2023 in the same way. They live completely different lives, in a completely different world, at a completely different moment in history.”

Tree’s night track “Miss You” took first place in the dance charts last year thanks to both fan and official versions of the song that were added to social media sites. He believes that the way younger generations consume both music and media explains why they are so passionate about fast music. “The current state of life in a digital society with the advent of social networks and online dating is such that we all quickly flip through to see what is better,” he says. “It makes us move at an incredibly fast pace. Music is a mirror of humanity, so no one should be surprised that accelerated music has become popular if you look at the speed at which we live.”

However, creating music that reflects this fast-paced lifestyle has not been without controversy. In October, two versions of “Miss You” reached the peak of popularity: one from the budding German producer Southstar, and the other from Tree and DJ Robin Schultz. Both tracks share the same title, arrangements, timing, and lyrics from Tree’s dark 2020 hit “Jerk”, but although Southstar’s version came out first, it was ultimately unauthorized (according to Billboard). In an Instagram post after the official release of “Miss You”, Southstar stated that “Schultz stole my song.” However, Atlantic Records, which owns the rights to “Jerk”, said in a statement that Southstar was wrong because he “remixed “Jerk” without permission and then released a version with re-recorded vocals to avoid full compensation to Oliver Tree and his label.”


In the end, the official version of “Miss You” eclipsed the Southstar version on both TikTok and streaming sites. But the dueling tracks highlighted the copyright and intellectual property issues that online creators face when creating remixes on TikTok and Instagram. However, this urge to be inspired and creative makes sense, according to TikTok, who say that interpolation is an integral part of the platform.

“TikTok is based on the belief that anyone can take a sound, trend or cultural moment and turn it around, remix it and collaborate with others to create something completely original and interesting,” says Clive Rosario, global music program manager at TikTok. NME. “People are thinking about ideas, making the most of our effects and using sounds that have been collected by someone on the other side of the world.” Rosario adds that people come to TikTok not only to consume, but also to create: “Fans have the opportunity to become part of the music-making process, which often manifests itself in the fact that creators experiment with their own accelerated or slowed-down versions.”.

Rosario adds: “Remixes have become a tool for the success of artists in TikTok and beyond, contributing to the community’s love of creative experimentation with new sounds. By speeding up the songs, fans can turn a track into a dance hit or a high-tempo anthem, providing a completely new look at songs of various genres. In turn, more and more artists and labels are picking up on these trends, relying on “catchy” moments in remixes and actively promoting new versions that are gaining popularity.”

While making remixes both to promote and bring fans back to original songs and albums has been a mainstay in the music industry for some time, social media has made the process of creating these new versions a fan-oriented affair.

“We are seeing more and more accelerated and slow—motion remixes appear on TikTok and then officially released, which often helps to draw attention to the original track and raise it in the charts,” explains Rosario.

Jovynn is one of the creators who helps artists spread their sounds on social networks. She was an online content creator long before she became a famous TikTok DJ, cutting her teeth, sharing dance trends, posting memes and watching the types of sounds that went viral on the app. However, it was during the pandemic that she decided to buy her own turntables and take seriously the “escape” she found in remixes of tracks, creating the music she wanted to hear.

“When I was a creator, I struggled to find the sounds to make a video,” says Giovinn. “Then when I was a DJ, I started tweaking the sounds and lyrics to make them the way I wanted them to be.” For example, her recent reimagining of “Kill Bill” by SZA currently supports videos of thousands of jilted lovers. “In the [original] text, she says, ‘I can kill my ex.’ I added a little pause to create tension, then changed SZA’s voice to say, “I’m going to kill my ex.” It just turns the song around in a completely different way,” she explains. “Every time I create a mashup or edit a sound, I ask myself if other people will like it or if they will use it. There’s so much more to it than [just] boosting the sound and speeding up the BPM.”


♬ original sound – jovynn – jovynn


The combination of her love of making music with her social media know-how helped increase the number of online followers of the Las Vegas creator to almost 11 million on all platforms, and her tracks have repeatedly gone viral: Giovinn’s recent look at the “A” of Coldplay At the beginning of the new year Sky Full Of Stars was voiced by hundreds of thousands Reels and TikTok videos. In her opinion, the desire of social networks for emotional music creates a demand for accelerated songs. “Slowing down or speeding up the sound adds personality,” says Giovinn. “There are upbeat songs with very sad lyrics, and people could really use a cappella to slow them down, turning them into a sadder song. It enhances the emotion of the song in a different way.” According to her, another reason why users might like fast tracks is their inability to focus on the longer version. “A lot of people in TikTok have very short attention spans,” she adds.

Ashley Hoffman, digital marketing specialist at Secretly Distribution, works with independent artists to distribute their music on social media. Recently, she has noticed a surge in the activity of performers, rather than reactivity, when it comes to creating night versions of their songs. “I think more artists will start preparing these accelerated versions along with their original release, instead of fans releasing them first,” she says. Hoffman, who has worked directly with artists who have achieved success through TikTok remixes, also has a theory about why users are attracted to these versions rather than the originals. “These versions sound more emotional and exciting,” she says. “That’s what makes them perfect for social media videos on sites like TikTok, where you stop people from scrolling by getting their attention and making them feel something.”

A quick review of the TikTok “For You” page provides more evidence that the nightclub trend is still strong. Currently, an unofficial accelerated version of Miguel’s 2011 hit “Sure Thing” is played in almost every second video, as the influencers and creators imitate the words: “If you’re money, I’ll be a rubber band / You’ll be the match, I’ll be the fuse, boom! The track is currently attached to 900,000 TikTok clips, and their number continues to grow, and more than a decade after its initial release, the original version of the song has returned to the top 20 of the Billboard Hot R&B Songs. According to Rosario, the persistence of speed traces back to the “endless creativity and collaboration” of the people who make up the global TikTok community, and this momentum will not slow down any time soon.

“From RAYE’s ‘Escapism’ to Steve Lacey releasing an accelerated version of ‘Bad Habit’, it’s obvious that accelerated remixes aren’t going anywhere,” he says. “We have no doubt that fan remixes will continue to grow in 2023.”


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