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Darude has now 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 ‘JS 16’ 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 units.
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 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 (UK) & 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 (www.thedjlist.com).
DJing has led Darude to radio, for which he now hosts two widely foll
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