After many months of speculation, broadcaster YLE has finally confirmed who will represent Finland at Eurovision 2019. Iconic DJ and producer Darude — best known for his 1999 single “Sandstorm” — will represent Finland in Tel Aviv.

The dramatic announcement was made this afternoon in a live stream hosted by Finnish Eurovision commentator Mikko Silvennoinen, Eurovision legend Krista Siegfrids, and Christoffer Strandberg.

Darude remarked, “This is an insane honour and a huge challenge. I have done all sorts of stuff done and performed for large audiences, but in this TV show, I haven’t been involved. When I was asked, I couldn’t say no.”

Darude on Suomen euroviisuedustaja

TÄSSÄ HÄN ON Suomen menestynein DJ Darude on Suomen euroviisuedustaja 2019 ja kilpailee UMK:ssa kolmella kappaleellaan. Tänä vuonna viedään klubikulttuuri viisulavoille! 2.3.Turun Logomossa selviää, mikä kolmesta biisistä edustaa Suomea Eurovision-mittelöissä toukokuussa. Pysy matkassa mukana UMK:n somekanavissa, tästä tulee hieno kevät!

Posted by Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Darude — otherwise known as Ville Virtanen — will compete at UMK 2019 final with three different songs. The Finnish public and an international jury will vote for the the one they think should go to Tel Aviv.

But Darude won’t be doing it alone. The superstar DJ will be joined by vocalist Sebastian Rejman, lead singer and guitarist of band The Giant Leap.

The three competing songs will be released in coming weeks, on February 8, 15 and 22. The three songs will then be performed at the grand final of UMK, this year held in the city of Turku on 2 March.

Darude and “Sandstorm”

Darude is best known for his 1999 instrumental trance single “Sandstorm”. The track was an international hit and charted around the world, including the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK singles chart.

In recent years, “Sandstorm” has found new life as an internet meme. Thanks to its popularity in gaming videos, this led to the development of a meme where any request for a song title gets the response Darude – “Sandstorm”. It looks like that wish has partly come true.

But it is important to recognise that there’s more than just that one single in Darude’s repertoire. The accomplished international DJ and producer has released four albums and numerous singles.

With a career spanning over two decades, Darude remains a respected musical artist. Most recently he released the single “Timeless”, featuring JVMIE.

Sebastian Rejman

Sebastian is the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the Finnish rock band The Giant Leap. The group were most active in the 2000s and the group released two albums. Rejmann also plays with his own band, Sebastian & The 4th Line Band.

What do you think? Are you excited that Darude will represent Finland at Eurovision? What sort of songs should be take to the UMK final? Sound off in our comments section below!

Read more Finland Eurovision news here!

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nemi
Guest
nemi

Well my Eurovision experience taught me there is no point of judging artist’s participation as we have no song. I have seen both legends deciding to perform nothing interesting and “almost amateurs” that did very well. Good luck, Finland. I will judge it when songs will be uploaded.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Come on Finland! Just put the cake on the table x

Jim
Guest
Jim

I like Finland so much, but this decision makes me puke!

Paul
Guest
Paul

I really don’t expect much….he hasn’t done anything relevant for the past 20 years….still, I wish Finland all the best.

Alkisti
Guest
Alkisti

We have enough bangers, bops and whatnot. Give us more good ballads.

Kris P. Kreme
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Kris P. Kreme

Yawn!

Alkisti
Guest
Alkisti

Empty head

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdznALpbovU

Those 2 lads worked together before. I have mixed feelings although it’s a good club banger. Good luck anyway! 🙂

Juan Cena
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Juan Cena

If the University of South Carolina could vote in Eurovision, they would give their 12 pts. to Finland “Sandstorm” is their unofficial fight song.

Kyna
Guest
Kyna

Wow Finland, I didn’t expect you to change the Eurovision meme department up by sending an actual meme so I’m impressed *clap* *clap*

Gin
Guest
Gin

Epic Sax Guy?
Hold my beer.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Despite some early disappointments, 2019 looks lit.

Sad
Guest
Sad

I’m Finnish and i don’t see him as big star.
He hasn’t had hit songs for decade and many people don’t even know him, or if they know, it’s only Sandstorm. He is a one hit wonder.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I understand, though Eurovision’s one interesting way to wake Darudevil up again.

brennan
Guest
brennan

not sure if smart or embarrassing

Gin
Guest
Gin

Yes. I’ve heard that about you.

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

So most already know my attitude so far about choices so before people start with the dislike I’m just going to wish Finland good luck. Hopefully the song is captivating and memorable!

Jello
Guest
Jello

This is going to be a very meme-worthy Eurovision…

Nikko
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Nikko

What is the name of the song in the video above? ^^

Joe
Guest
Joe

Dancing Lasha Tumbai

Miz
Guest
Miz

Darude Sandstorm

Pasadena
Guest
Pasadena

Eurovision history is full of examples of artists that had big international careers before they competed in Eurovision long after their peaks – DJ Bobo, Cascada, Bonnie Tyler, Kate Ryan, Münchener Freiheit, Las Ketchup, Nicky Byrne – they all flopped. The biggest exception to the rule is perhaps Katrina and the Waves. I really want Finland to have a good result so I hope they can defy history.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Uh…is Darude bigger in Europe than he is in USA? Because the only song I know by him is Sandstorm

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

The first time I heard of him was in 2002, and it was by way of “Feel The Beat”, which I think is one of quite a few follow-ups that I think is better than the lead-off singles.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

He’s the reason Finland jumped from 28 to 9 in the odds today. Obviously high expectations about the songs?? We shall see…hope they are bangers!

dual lipper
Guest
dual lipper

I want me some dance song, and not useless Swedish popcorn

dual lipper
Guest
dual lipper

you are useless

zxc
Guest
zxc

you’re 20 years late

brunowskii
Guest
brunowskii

Now it would be the right time for a dutch announcement for Martin Garrix

Eurovision fan since 2014
Guest
Eurovision fan since 2014

Perkele, when I was a little kid, this was as legendary as Cascada 😮 He got nothing to lose though. This year is shaping up in an electro indie manner, let’s wait for the outcome cause it can get interesting :p

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Bingo! If the guys from Cascada, and even JOWST, were brave enough to try their hand at Eurovision, why not let another DJ try his luck?

Now, if it had been Orkidea… 🙂

romanian
Guest
romanian

Is the first time I agree with Salvador Sobral. This is torture.

Max
Guest
Max

Where do you find the official songs

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

None released yet…first one around Feb.8th

Trh
Guest
Trh

Right!

Charles
Guest
Charles

So following on Poland’s EDM failed steps from last year is the way to go for Finland … right …
See you in 2020 again Finland hopefully with something more inspiring and less desperate or less “we just gave up”.

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

Well, Norway sent a DJ in 2017 and they got top 10.

Manic
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Manic

You know, the last time Finland gave up on trying to win, they won in 2006… so who knows what’s gonna be up this year??? ??

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Why am i giggling at tHIS HELP

Aisling
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Aisling

Not as famous as Dustin the Turkey I hear

Trh
Guest
Trh

I hated that song back then and I hate it now and this now mixed with commercial rock?!?! Finland, why do you insist in giving me a headache every year now? Why can you not go back to 2017??? I know, you did not qualify in 2017! This was so unfair. But you almost did! That is no reason for going ballistic… Keep up the good work of 2017 and forget about Saara and Netta’s episodes. They will not make ESC history. Instead, do remember this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9c9kj3fr8g

Gin
Guest
Gin

No, I don’t think you’re selfish at all.

Trh
Guest
Trh

LOL… I know, right?… That’s actually funny! I guess I have to pop in some aspirines… and let everyone else enjoy the show.

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

I’ll wait until the tracks are released before jumping to conclusions. Both Poland and Norway have tried a DJ + vocalist combo like this recently, with wildly different outcomes.

Geo
Guest
Geo

Meh, he’s so yesterday… He was indeed famous, 10 years ago!!! Also, this type of music doesn’t work on Eurovision (Poland 2018 anyone?)… The conservative juries will kill this…

Bahog Bilal Hassani
Guest
Bahog Bilal Hassani

You presume djs like Darude are not capable of making timely tunes just so they are known for making hits in the past. Maybe wait for the release of his music.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Yea, that’s why JOWST came 10th in 2017, right?

OohHoney
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OohHoney

Roy that was a fluke he even made it out of the semi final

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Would you say that if PvD had decided to bring his steel to the stage for Germany?

Sksksksk
Guest
Sksksksk

Well, Garrix for Netherlands, Guetta for France and so on 😀 Good choice, he’s a legend! Heard the news, got so excited.

XKWHOOBEWVO
Guest
XKWHOOBEWVO

And for Spain … Rosalía or Ana Mena feat. Becky G. jajaja

Denmark
Guest
Denmark

captain? what’s the artist and the song title?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

DAMN! Finland isn’t holding anything back giving one of their biggest stars the opportunity to snatch a second victory next May. Daruda has been around for more than two decades and is one of the most respected DJs in Europe. I cannot believe Finland went from the absolute disaster Saara Aalto to the brilliance of Darude in a year, using the same format. WOW! Personally I am excited about this. “Sandstorm” was part of my very early playlist when I was a child, and still 20 years later it brings me back good memories. There are only two people left… Read more »

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Brave choice! That’s going to be super interesting!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Don’t forget we had DJ Bobo for Switzerland in 2007and he got stuck in the SF. It could work either very good o very bad. His music sounds very late 90s, that might be a problem.

Max
Guest
Max

Salvador Sobral sounds very 50s and that wasn’t a problem.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Yeah but DJ Bobo was a novelty act

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

2007, you say? They should have sent Tatana, who was more famous in Switzerland at the time.

Joe
Guest
Joe

DJ Bobo didn’t even DJ. He just jumped around like an idiot.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Wow I knew the song but never knew the artist let alone that it is a Finnish artist! I feel this is going to be a very important year in ESC history…

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

Wow I love that Finland is being very ambitious this year by choosing such a big name to represent them at Eurovision! I know it’s way too early to decide who will qualify but I’m pretty sure Finland will be one of the qualifiers this year.

Bandido
Guest
Bandido

Ambitious??? It’s (YLE) as lost as always! UK had tried this (yesterday’s pop-stars) and Finland is now even more late.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Iconic? More like Legendary. This is amazing, and I think that countries like Australia and Belgium in SF1 are going to vote for him.

Memevision
Guest
Memevision

I’m kind of hopeful. Their song called “Moments” is pretty good so maybe we’ll get something similar. Finland is not going to win but probably going to the final.

Puff
Guest
Puff

You can’t say they aren’t going to win. If they have a winning song, Finland will win!

PP77
Guest
PP77

Now, we know that Finland is strong contender to open First semi final.

memememe
Guest
memememe

Sandstorm is extremely played song. Its maybe most used song in sport events ever and still keep on played everywhere around world. He does not have to make hit like that to do very well. Most known finnish songs are 1. Darude -Sandstorm 2. Bomfunk Mcs -Freestyler. Both are epic songs so this is very nice.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

And so Darude becomes the part of Eurovision Memes Pantheon, with Epic Sax Guy on his left, and Verka Serdushka on his right. I’m a bit suspicious, but I believe he’s going to make Euroclub go crazy with his song.

Brooklyn
Guest
Brooklyn

What if he got the 1st place! I mean the epic sax guy got 3rd, Verka 2nd and maybe he will be 1st this year!

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

The first place is already taken by another amazing artist, but Finland can of course get the second place if they want to XD

UKEesti Kid
Guest
UKEesti Kid

Very impressed by Finland’s effort recently, this year and last year they’ve selected two of the countries most successful international music exports and I hope it pays off for them!

memememe
Guest
memememe

Saara Aalto is known in britain. She is entertainer but does have any kind of own hits. HIM, Rasmus, Sunrise Avenue, Bomfunk Mcs, Nightwish, Alma comes in mind. Saara Aalto has very untypical career, british has not only saved her career but also gave her career. She is basically british entertainer who has born in Finland.

Rekie
Guest
Rekie

She has recorded an album in Chinese and did tour with Botticelli. I think that is huge for a Finnish artist.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Didn’t Botticelli die in the 16th Century? 🙂

UKEesti Kid
Guest
UKEesti Kid

I agree somewhat however for a country not particularly renowned as a global music exporter the fact that Saara has been able to make a name for herself even in the U.K. is quite remarkable at least, I agree with some of the other names you mentioned though and who knows with the way YLE has been going maybe a couple could be in line for future UMKs

@matt.hood15
Guest
@matt.hood15

FANTASTIC! The party is coming to TEL AVIV! Yassssssss

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

I’m trying to imagine “Sandstorm” at ESC 1999 in Jerusalem (if Finland wouldn’t be relegated that year)… 🙂

Intriguing news!

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It would be a bit too late, as it was released in October of 1999.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

That doesn’t stop him/her from imagining it, though. It’s not real!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I’d legit never heard Sandstorm in my life before now, it’s the classic example of an early 00s dance hit that was a smash hit everywhere except for Italy. Either way DJ+singer combo is always good, I would’ve wanted a female vocalist for a change but I have high expectations from this anyway.

romanian
Guest
romanian

I thought I’m the only one who has no idea what this is.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

O
M
G

Lost in diaspora
Guest
Lost in diaspora

Finland almost always send a good song and deserve credit for taking the show seriously again. I’d love it if some or all the vocals were in Finnish. I love listening to the language even if I don’t understand it. Good luck and give us a great dance tune.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

It’s going to be an EDM song… the chances of it not being in English are slim.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Nice choice, interesting to see if they can win meme votes. Moldova succeded in 2017 but then again the meme was a person on stage.

But whats his song name tho??
Guest
But whats his song name tho??

Good job, Finland!

Darude - Sandstorm
Guest
Darude - Sandstorm

Darude – Sandstorm