Darude has become a name synonymous with driving beats coupled with
passionate and energetic DJ sets which can be summed up in one word, PARTY!
Darude’s (Finnish DJ/artist/producer Ville Virtanen) grand entrance into the
music industry came in 1999, when he slipped a demo CD to one of his idols,
acclaimed Finnish dance producer, Jaakko ‘JS16’ Salovaara. Jaakko immediately
snatched up Darude and signed him to his own label, 16 Inch Records. The two
hit the studio together to put the final touches on the demo Darude had handed
to Jaakko. The result of this studio time would be a track that would
eventually spread to every corner of the world; that track was “Sandstorm”.
Once “Sandstorm” was out, it took the world by storm. It started in Darude’s
home country, Finland, where it went directly to #1 on the Finnish Dance Chart;
a spot that it would dominate for 17 weeks. Its next stop would be the UK,
where Neo Records would snap up the track after coming across it on the
internet. In June 2000, Darude became the first Finnish artist ever to reach
the top 3 positions on the UK singles chart.
“Sandstorm” went on to sell Platinum in Scandinavia & Ireland and Gold in the UK
& Germany which led to it being the world’s best selling 12” vinyl of 2000. The
world-wide sales of “Sandstorm” to date is about 1,5 - 2 million units. The
second single “Feel The Beat” went immediately to #1 on the Finnish Dance Chart,
the UK Club Chart, Mixology Dance Chart, UK and the Australian Dance Chart.
Altogether is conquered the Top 3 in ten countries around the world.
The success of these two singles led to the release of Darude’s debut album,
“Before The Storm.” This album would go on to sell double Platinum in Finland
and Gold in Canada. Its world-wide sales to date are between 600 000 - 800 000
In 2001, the demand for Darude was at a frenzy. He was kept on the road for 9
months out of the year, working to meet the needs of his new found fans. In the
spring of 2002, Darude did his seven week “Tour de Trance” in the USA which was
met with overwhelming reviews. This live tour solidified his name in the USA
which would give him a secure fan base in this vast market for years to come.
In 2003, Darude would release his second artist album, “Rush”. The first single
off of this album was simply titled, “Music.” The track conquered the #1
position on the Finnish Singles Chart, Finnish Dance Chart and, for example, the
Polish Dance Chart. The second single, “Next To You,” would follow in the first
single’s footsteps by taking the #1 position on the Finnish Singles Chart on its
release. Both singles received wide support from some of the biggest named DJs
(Tiesto, Ferry Corsten...) and were play-listed on countless dance radio stations
stations around the world. The “Rush” album went on to dominate in USA, reaching
#11 on the Billboard Top Electronic Albums Chart.
2004 saw Darude embark on a new phase of his career. In addition to his live
performances, he started focusing on touring as a DJ; a natural progression in
today’s dance scene. He quickly took off with this type of performing, which
gave him a way to combine his passion for listening to music & making it. He
was off and running and he has never looked back.
His DJ style is a mix of progressive & uplifting trance, but he’s not too shy to
throw in some tech, breaks and house flavor with even the occasional heavy metal
samples. His goal is to get arms waving, feet moving and hips shaking! He quickly
obtained remarkable success as a DJ. After only one year of official DJing, he was
voted by his fans onto such renowned charts as The DJ Mag’s Top 100 of 2004 & BPM
Magazine’s America’s Favorite DJ list 2004, 2005 & 2006 (trance/commercial DJ) and
in addition he gained a solid spot on The DJ List.com’s chart.
DJing has led Darude to radio, for which he now hosts a widely followed mixshow,
“Salmiakki Sessions” on ETN.fm. In addition, Darude has
done several guest mixes
for other top radio programs, including Above & Beyond’s “Trance Around the World”
on Ministry of Sound UK.
2006 saw Darude busier than ever. When he was not at one of his several gigs
around the world, with much of them taking place in the USA, he was locked in his
studio hard at work on his 3rd artist album, aptly titled, “Label This!”. The album
was done and released by fall 2007 in Scandinavia, fall 2008 in USA, other territories
following shortly. Darude’s focus on DJing in recent years has reinforced his skills
as an artist and producer. This album shows not only Darude’s maturity as an artist,
but also his impeccable ear for the future of dance music. The evolvement of Darude
into an industry leading DJ/Artist/Producer will undoubtedly be heard in “Label This!”.
In addition to his artist albums, Darude’s music can be found in a variety of
media. For example, Hollywood movies such as : “Ballistic, Ecks vs. Sever,”
“Like Mike” and the recent “Fun With Dick and Jane”, Playstation games, mobile
ring tones and heavily viewed sports broadcasts like the Ice Hockey World
Championships, Wimbledon and the recent 2006 Winter Olympics. Darude plans to
vigorously pursue combining his music with TV, movies and other media avenues in
the future. Also, after finishing the production work for “Label This!”, Darude's
been collaborating with and remixing other artists' material, which he loves and
has decided to keep up more in the future.
Interest in Darude is at an all-time high, which can be seen in his ever increasing
website hits each month, his solid presence on Myspace, the gig requests that keep
pouring in and his invitations to take part in industry leading conferences, such as
the Billboard Dance Music Summit, Amsterdam Dance Event and WMC in Miami.
Darude has solidified himself as a DJ for the people which has given him an ever
expanding fan base that follow him on each new venture in his career. Stick around
to see what Darude has in store for the world next!