English producer Surati selected some of the most essential nightcore tracks for any fan of this energetic, Internet-centric genre in her exclusive PressPlaylist. Read on to find out more about her take on the nightcore scene!
How did you discover nightcore, and what made you want to make it yourself?
The first nightcore I ever heard was “h34rtb34t” by Fan Fiction, played by my mate Craig in the kitchen of my old house in London whilst he was trying to explain the concept of cocavino.
I think my first reaction was “I don’t really understand what’s going on” – and that’s exactly what got me. I had a similar reaction to PC Music at first, and I genuinely think it’s instant sensory overload, that feeling of discovering something familiar yet so varied, that was exciting. That same night, Craig introduced me to a bunch of friends at a Henrik the Artist gig and I met Markus, who linked me one of his mixes featuring Sign Offline’s ‘Where Are Ü Now’ nightcore. It was pretty much all I listened to for a month, I was obsessed with finding songs that nightcored well and amassed a huge collection after figuring out some stuff in Ableton. Both Markus and Craig make nightcore too under the names SmilesUK and Sugarie, so it really started through my friends. Markus encouraged me to submit to online nightcore collectives such as Nite Corp, and it all snowballed from there! To put it simply, I wanted to make it purely because I found it just so overwhelmingly fun.
What inspired you to select these tracks for your PressPlaylist? Are there any artists or sounds in particular that have influenced your work as a whole?
This playlist contains some of the first nightcore tracks I ever heard; I wanted to share the variety of sounds I was first introduced to myself. This playlist is pretty representative of what I’ll use to construct a mix – there’s the more pop-tracks, some jersey, and a little drum n bass. I’m most influenced by tracks with interesting or unusual construction (or a massive chorus), as I tend to invest 20+ hrs worth of practise into each mix, so I have to have tracks that are varied enough to keep my attention, but that are also unusual and allow me to construct almost entirely new compositions.
Some people are calling the nightcore/Soundcloud producer community the first music movement to be entirely formed online. Do you agree with that? How do you think the fact that this community is so non-physical changes the way we interact with it or perceive it?
The fact that the nightcore community met online isn’t a very revolutionary idea, but applied to music it definitely gained some weight. Having lived in London, the underground music scene in my experience is almost entirely defined by how close you live to Dalston. The scene in London has really suffered from closures of event spaces such as Power Lunches and now Dance Tunnel, and events are being forced into larger, less intimate venues. So what’s brilliant about nightcore, and events that support the genre such as NONSTOPPOP, is that we prospered precisely because we weren’t all in the same location. Being part of a movement formed online purely means we’re connecting over what really matters. Nightcore is a way of facilitating that – we’re not out to intimidate or exclude anyone, or proclaim our greatness. We just share a love of music and it just so happens that nightcore became our way of uniting different tastes and bringing us together as friends.
What does the music and the community of nightcore mean to you, and how have you grown from it?
One thing I gained is a platform to start DJing. I wanted to for years, but didn’t feel like I could represent a particular sound or genre before I found nightcore. I bought decks late last year, and invested hours each day just practising and figuring it all out before uploading a few mixes that gained a good response. My involvement with the nightcore community exploded around NONSTOPPOP and Jack LA. Markus and I travelled out for it, and we met around 90% of the nightcore community on a rooftop that was vibrating from the bass of the 10hr-long party downstairs. It was mad. We stayed in an airbnb with 15 artists and DJs, now forever dubbed NXC MANSION, and hosted a nightcore party the next day. I got to DJ on the same lineup as Fan Fiction, Robokid, Ducky, and all the nightcore gang – and have kept in touch with everyone I met there. The NXC MANSION now has its own Soundcloud page that those of us who stayed at the house release under. I’m really grateful to the community for welcoming me, and offering me the change to play their shows or collaborate. Through everyone’s encouragement, I’ve started to produce my own music too.
To put it simply, nightcore has given me the kick I’ve needed to start producing my own sounds and the confidence to invest in the music I love. I’ve often struggled with finding myself within music due to being influenced by so much, and getting lost when it comes to pinning down my own sound. So nightcore, and especially DJing, has shown me that it’s ok to be a bit frantic and like a bit of everything, without diluting your standing as an individual. The community has handed me a platform to showcase what I’m good at, and I’m really excited about what this scene is becoming.