This Artist 101 guide contains everything you need to know about Finland’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Darude.
Who is Darude?
Toni-Ville Henrik Virtanen, aka Darude is a 43-years-old Finnish DJ, artist, and producer who was internally chosen by Finnish broadcaster YLE to represent his country at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with Sebastian Rejman, the lead singer and guitarist for Finnish melodic rock band, The Giant Leap.
Born in Eura, Darude studied at Turku Polytechnic, making music using his PC’s tracker software. At a classmate’s party, he played the song “Rude Boy” by Leila K, giving him the nickname, which later transformed to “Da Rude” and then “Darude”. He didn’t have to wait too long for success, as he already began with a monster global hit “Sandstorm”, released in 1999, which hit the charts hard internationally. After releasing the captivating number, in 2000, his debut studio album Before the Storm earned him three Finnish Grammy Awards. He’s released a total of four studio albums, including his most recent one Moments, which he talked to us about in an interview last year.
On 29 January, he was announced as the Finnish representative for the grandiose contest that is Eurovision. His competing entry was decided by a special edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK), where Darude and Sebastian performed three songs: “Look Away”, “Superman” and “Release Me”. The winning song, “Look Away” was then selected by viewers and international juries. We were lucky enough to speak to him a second time this year, about Eurovision.
In between releasing music, Darude has toured the world, headlining his own shows and performing at several prestigious festivals, as well as he had his music included in movies, TV series, games and events such as the Euro 2000, The Olympics, and Wimbledon.
When is his birthday?
Darude’s birthday is on July 17, 1975.
What is his most popular song?
Aside from his gargantuan hit “Sandstorm”, Darude’s competing entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest “Look Away” is his most popular number.
“Look Away” was written by the artists themselves, Sebastian Rejman and Darude, and the music video has been directed by Jaakko Manninen, who also directed the previous two music videos for “Release Me” and “Superman“.