Darude (real name Toni-Ville Henrik Virtanen is a Finnish DJ and composer. He was born in Eura, in the Southwestern part of Finland.
Virtanen started his career when attending highschoo. He was enthusiastic about making music at the computer at the time. He played the song “Rude Boy” by Swedish eurodance artist Leila K four times at a school party. He then began to be playfully called Rude Boy. Rude Boy later changed to Da Rude, who eventually became Darude.
Darude eagerly pursued his career and in 1997 his demos were played on some radio stations. His songs were also available for download on MP3.com. In 1999, he made a demo of “Sandstorm” for his producer Jaakko Salovaara (JS16). Darude signed a record deal with Salovaara’s 16 Inch Records and “Sandstorm” was released as a single shortly thereafter. The track proved to be a big hit around the world. In addition to Finland, the song did particularly well in the United Kingdom. In Finland, the single sold platinum and remained on Finland’s official singles chart for 42 (!!) weeks. “Sandstorm” sold 2 million units worldwide. By March 2015, more than three million units had been sold. Darude’s debut album “Before the Storm” sold 800,000 copies worldwide. The album’s second single, “Feel the Beat”, was a great success.
In 2001 Darude had a tour, the “Before the Storm: Australian Tour Edition”. “Before the Storm Special Edition” was released in 2002, which included remixes of the original songs as well. In 2003, Darude’s second studio album, “Rush”, was released. The album contained the singles “Music” and “Next to You”.
Darude’s third studio album “Label This!” was released in October 2007. It contained the hit singles “Tell Me” as well as “My Game”.
Darude co-founded the record label EnMass Music in 2011. With that label, he released a DJ Mix compilation called “Salmiakki Seasons Vol. 1”. Darude kept on touring and playing in clubs.
On August 14, 2015, Darude released a new studio album, Moments, from which the single “Beautiful Alien” was released on March 20.
Together with singer-actor Sebastian Rejman, Darude represented Finland at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with the song “Look away”. The song became last in the first semifinal.
Darude reported on the TV show Villa Hintikka in January 2020 that one of his ears has become deaf due to illness.