Finnish DJ Darude is continually surprised by the longevity of his decade-old single “Sandstorm,” especially its use to pump up crowds at sporting events.
“I’m sort of used to it, though,” says Darude, whose real name is Ville Virtanen. “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that in a big-headed way. But when people tell me they’re at a hockey game or a basketball game and my track is on, it’s still amazing.”
But there’s more to Darude than “Sandstorm.” He recently released the trance anthem “Singularity,” with Australian Zac Waters. The track paints a picture as Enya Angel’s vocals are paired with emotive chords, subtle guitar leads that builds up to a frenetic drop.
“Enya Angel’s voice adds a lot to the vibe and, I don’t know if this is the right word, but ‘user-friendliness’ of the track,” Darude says.
“If it was full instrumental, it could just be a great club track. Now with the vocals, it’s something people can sing to and remember afterward. It’s not just one moment in a club.”
The song, which will be included in Darude’s set when he plays Maya Day and Nightclub on Friday, September 8, is one of a handful that he expects to be released this year.
“I’m on a collaboration kick at the moment,” he says. “Collaborations are amazing because they force you to think differently. They force you to let your guard down a little bit, and to let go of your own ego a little bit.”
For Darude, it meant relinquishing control a bit. His record label encouraged him to work with other producers and songwriters. It has been a learning experience.
“I learned more about my shortcomings and strengths, but I also learned to admit those weaknesses or shortcomings. I’m a little wiser, so I can ask for help where I’m lacking.”
Still, he enjoys his catalog, including “Sandstorm.”
“I saw Michael Phelps swimming or warming up to ‘Sandstorm,’” he says. “I’ve seen 80,000 people at a Gamecocks college football game watching people go crazy. It’s still incredible.”
Darude, Maya Day and Nightclub, 7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, mayaclubaz.com, 10 p.m. Friday, September 8, free with RSVP.