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Songs are speeding up, and social media is the reason

If you use TikTok, you're used to hearing popular songs remixed and sped up. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
If you use TikTok, you're used to hearing popular songs remixed and sped up. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

If you use TikTok, you’re used to hearing popular songs remixed and sped up. But now, artists are getting ahead of the trend by releasing sped-up versions of their own songs.

The phenomenon of sped-up songs dates back to the 1990s and early 2000s, starting with the Norwegian duo Nightcore, journalist Kieran Press-Reynolds says. But when Press-Reynolds was finding these songs on YouTube as a kid, these Chimpunk-like versions were niche.

Then a few years ago, people started remixing sped-up versions of songs by artists like Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey. And new versions of older songs started going viral years after the original release.

“I think pretty much like any artist now can see the potential in this. And they’re kind of just like striking while it’s hot,” Press-Reynolds says. “No matter how the original is, it kind of sounds both freaky and also really thrilling when it’s sped up.”

Sped-up songs that will stay stuck in your head for days

“Duvet (Sped Up Version)” by bôa

Watch on YouTube.

“Escapism (Sped Up)” by RAYE

Watch on YouTube.

“Do Ya Like x Resonance” by HOME x Childish Gambino

Watch on YouTube.


James Perkins Mastromarino produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd MundtAllison Hagan adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.