Sped-Up Songs Are On The Rise, Both On TikTok And The Charts

Uptempo reworks have been rising across TikTok for years, helping push songs atop the charts, and record labels have taken notice.

Sped-up songs have led to significant streaming bumps for artists, such as Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One,” and Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right,” Billboard reports.

Michael Buble‘s rendition of “Sway” is one of the latest songs to have a sped-up rework go viral on TikTok. The social media platform has become a hub for old and new music.

The style has become increasingly popular among Gen Z TikTok users, leading to a new level of “mainstream exposure.”

“Back in the day, we used club remixes to diversify the visibility of a record,” Nima Nasseri, global head of A&R strategy for Universal Music Group’s music strategy and tactics team, told Billboard. “The purpose was to bring back visibility to the main version. Now people are discovering the main version from the sped-up or slowed one. Instead of spending $50,000 for a remix from a big-name DJ, you’re spending relatively minimal amounts [on a sped-up rendition] and getting much more return and reach.”

Part of TikTok’s power comes from a sub-genre known as “nightcore,” which also centers on sped and pitched-up music. While the popular music style debuted long before the social media platform, its hit-making power pales in comparison to TikTok.

“We’re seeing in consumer surveys how much Gen Z wants to actively participate in music,” added Tatiana Cirisano, a research analyst and former Billboard reporter. “They don’t just listen and consume passively; they make their own videos, remix the song.”

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