Yes, you heard that right, Darude is heading to Eurovision this year with Sebastian Rejman to represent Finland. If you’re unsure where you’ve heard that name before, cast your mind back to 1999 and 2000 where Darude had a couple of internationally successful hits, with his biggest being “Sandstorm”.
The surprising but exciting announcement was made yesterday during a live stream by Mikko Silvennoinen (Finnish Eurovision commentator), Krista Siegfrids (Eurovision 2013 Finland representative), and Christoffer Strandberg (Finnish presenter).
Talking about being the Finnish representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Darude said: “This is a huge challenge for me in many ways, when I was asked to represent Finland I felt a bit scared at first, but there was no way I could say no to my country! It is an honour to be part of this incredible experience and I only have positive expectations!”
Much like last year, where Saara Aalto sang three songs at the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK), Darude will showcase three songs with the vocalist Sebastian Rejman – he is best known for being the frontman for The Giant Leap.
The songs will be released individually in the coming weeks on 8 February, 15 February, and 22 February. They will then be performed on stage at UMK on 2 March 2019. This year, UMK will be hosted in the city of Turku, at Logomo.
Watch Darude Talk About “Sandstorm”, His Career, And Eurovision Here:
Real name Ville Virtanen, Darude is one of the biggest Finnish DJs in the world. His instant hit, “Sandstorm” went viral and hit the charts hard internationally. He’s gone on to have a successful DJ career spanning two decades. He’s released a total of four studio albums, won three Finnish Grammy Awards, and has had his music included in movies, TV series’, games, and events such as the Euro 2000, The Olympics, and Wimbledon. We also interviewed him, just last year, about the release of his fourth studio album Moments.
As for Sebastian Rejman, he’s the lead singer and guitarist for Finnish melodic rock band, The Giant Leap. The band has been going since 2005 and have released two studio albums, 2007’s Another Day Rising and 2010’s self-titled album. They haven’t released anything since 2010, and they haven’t updated their socials in some time.
We’re excited to see what Darude will bring to Eurovision, especially with Sebastian Rejman’s vocals. Could we have the winner here? We’ve had prolific acts represent their countries in the past from Cascada to Bonnie Tyler, from Blue to Las Ketchup, from Alexander Rybak to Lena; could Darude prove that an internationally known act can win? Time will tell.
Finland first entered in 1961, and has competed a total of 52 times however they’ve only ever won once and that was in 2006 with the rock band Lordi, with the song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Last year, they made the Grand Final for the first time in three years, but came second-to-last placing 25 with 46 points – Saara Aalto deserved to do better with her song “Monsters”.
Looks like Finland is hoping to turn it all around with Darude. To win, he’ll have will have to gain more points than the other 41 countries that are competing. Announced acts so far are Srbuk for Armenia, Tamta for Cyprus, Jonida Maliqi for Albania, Eliot for Belgium, Miki for Spain, Serhat for San Marino, Duncan Laurence for The Netherlands, Tamara Todevska for FYR Macedonia, Michela Pace for Malta, Bilal Hassani for France, Lake Malawi for the Czech Republic, and PÆNDA for Austria. The other countries are expected to reveal their acts in the forthcoming months.
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted at the Expo Tel Aviv in Israel after Netta won last year with the song “Toy”. The two Semi-Finals will take place on 14 May and 16 May with the Grand Final taking place on 18 May. A total of 42 countries will compete in the contest.