To date Darude remains one of dance music’s most influential stars. At the age of 24 and at the height of the trance boom of the early 00’s Finnish DJ / artist / producer Ville Virtanen created the milestone single ‘Sandstorm’ under his pseudonym Darude. The track went on to become one of the biggest selling dance singles in the history of electronic dance music with global sales of over 3 million units and to date featuring on over 300 compilations worldwide.
What started out as a national release in Darude’s native home of Finland went on to become a worldwide phenomenon taking ‘Sandstorm’ to #1 on the Finnish Dance Chart; a spot that it would dominate for 17 weeks. Released in June 2000 by Neo Records the track would see Darude became the first Finnish artist to reach the Top 3 positions on the UK singles chart. Following this, ’Sandstorm’ went on to go Platinum and become the ‘World’s best selling 12” vinyl’ of 2000. The track attained cult like status and gained strong support from industry heavyweights such as Radio 1’s Pete Tong, Tiësto and Paul van Dyk, as well receiving phenomenal radio support from national stations in over 70 countries. Still swelling in sales today ‘Sandstorm’ achieved Gold status in digital sales in the US in 2010 and re-entered the UK Top 40 Dance Chart in 2011, whilst finding new supporters in the likes of Calvin Harris, Zane Lowe and Laidback Luke.
The success of his first three singles (‘Sandstorm’, ‘Out of Control’ and ‘Feel the Beat’) led to the release of Darude’s debut artist album, ‘Before the Storm’. The album would go on to go double Platinum in Finland and Gold in Canada. Worldwide sales to date are over 1 million units. The album was supported by a gruelling 9 month worldwide tour taking in Europe, Australasia and Asia. In the spring of 2002 he followed up this world tour by embarking on a 7 week live show tour across North America – a daring project but one that paid off, solidifying his name throughout the North America club scene.
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