Darude will represent Finland at Eurovision 2019 along with vocalist Sebastian Rejman. Find out more about the singer with our 10 Things About…Darude!
1. Ville Virtanen was born 17 July 1975 and is better known by his stage name Darude. He is a Finnish DJ and record producer from the village of Hinnerjoki in Eura, Finland.
2. He got his stage name as a result of playing the song ‘Rude Boy’ by Swedish artist Leila K several times in a row at a party. This earned him the nickname ‘Rude Boy’ which gradually morphed into ‘Da Rude’ and then ‘Darude’.
3. Darude started his career as a musician while studying at Turku Polytechnic, making music using his PC’s tracker software. As his interest in music production rapidly grew, he moved on to more serious production techniques.
4. His debut studio album, ‘Before the Storm’ was released on 18 September 2000 and sold 800,000 copies worldwide, earning Darude three Finnish Grammy Awards. It peaked at number one on Finland’s Official List and number 6 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart in the United States. He subsequent albums include ‘Rush’ (2003), ‘Label This!’ (2007), and ‘Moments’ (2015).
5. Darude’s biggest hit to date is without a doubt ‘Sandstorm’. The song was an international hit. It held the number 1 spot on the Finnish Dance Chart for seventeen consecutive weeks, was certified platinum, reached number 3 in the UK Single’s Chart (becoming the first record by a Finnish artist to do so) and sold 2 million units worldwide, making it the world’s biggest selling 12-inch single in 2000.
6. He has appeared at some of the world’s biggest festivals and headlined iconic clubs across the globe.
7. In the 2017 New Year’s Eve countdown in Helsinki Darude ushered in the New Year with a performance in front of 100,000 people as part of the celebrations of 100 years of Finnish independence.
8. In September 2015, Darude embarked on a ten date tour of the United States and Canada, culminating in a performance at the inaugural TwitchCon, a gaming and tech convention organised by video streaming platform Twitch.tv and held in San Francisco on September 25 and 26, 2015. With over 20,000 attendees over the weekend, Darude appeared as the headline DJ at the official after party, held in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on September 26, 2015, and also featuring a performance from deadmau5.
9. In 2019 it was announced that Darude would team up with singer Sebastian Rejman to present three songs for the Finnish Eurovision selection show UMK for Eurovision 2019. These were announced as ‘Superman’, ‘Release Me’ and eventual winner ‘Look Away’.
10. ‘Look Away’ was written by Sebastian Rejman and was influenced by a recent trip to India. He was shocked by the homelessness and poverty he experienced in Delhi and felt compelled to write a song about it.