FINLAND – Ville Virtanen, better known by his stage name Darude, is a Finnish DJ and record producer from Eura, Finland. He started making music in 1995 and released the platinum selling hit single “Sandstorm” in late 1999. His debut studio album, Before the Storm 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. Darude’s second studio album, Rush, reached number 11 on the Billboard dance chart in 2003 and number 4 on weekly album chart in Finland.
His third studio album, Label This! was released in 2007. Though it did not chart as high as his previous albums, Gawker praised the album’s single “In the Darkness” as “a floating, gossamer piece of trance music…it’s tightly composed, easy to dance to, and has a soaring, undeniable hook.”
In 2011, he co-founded the record label EnMass Music, through which he has released a number of mix compilations related to his radio show Salmiakki Sessions. After performing at festivals such as tenth anniversary of Tomorrowland in 2014 and Future Music Festival in 2015, he released his most recent studio album, Moments, on 14 August 2015, followed by a tour of the United States and Canada in September 2015.
His music is characterised by its progressive/uplifting style.
He will represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
The winning Darude track that finally represents Finland in the ESC 2019 will be decided by a combination of public vote and an international jury’s points via live stream and TV broadcast UMK19: Darude on 2nd March.