DJ and Producer Darude—real name Villen Virtanen– has been selected to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest. Darude is most known and loved for his iconic 1999 single ‘Sandstorm‘ and since then, has been a prominent figure in the EDM community and trance scene. He has won three Finnish Grammys and gained wild global recognition for his work as DJ and producer.
Finnish singer Sebastian Rejman of the rock band ‘The Giant Leap’ will accompany Virtanen on stage. They have collaborated on three songs, which are to be released individually on the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of February. These tracks will be showcased through the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailussa (UMK), the Finnish national broadcast contest. The Finnish public along with a professional jury will decide which track will make it to Tel Aviv. The duo will be expected to perform these songs live for the national broadcast and for the ESC itself, should they make it through the Semi-Finals. Darude shared his thoughts with Eurovision following his nomination:
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!”
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I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be the 2019 @eurovision representative for Finland! This is such an huge honor for me to represent my home country in this way, and I am SO excited to share the next few months of this crazy Eurovision experience with you all! ??? Olen mielettömän fiiliksissä että voin vihdoin ilmoittaa, että olen Suomen 2019 Euroviisuedustaja! On iso kunnia edustaa kotimaata tällä tavoin ja olen innoissani, että voin jakaa nämä tulevat hullut kuukaudet Euroviisukokemuksen merkeissä teidän kanssanne! @uudenmusiikinkilpailu #UMK19 #euroviisut #eurovision #esc2019 #daretodream
With only 7 nations, the contest began in 1954. This year marks the 64th Anniversary of the contest which will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel. Each country will have a participating broadcaster select their performer. Some countries choose their brightest stars and others decide on upcoming talent. In the end, the winners are selected by the public and a jury of industry professionals. Voters are not allowed to vote for their own country.
The two Semi-Finals are allocated randomly and will take place on May 14th and May 16th with the Grand Finale landing on the 18th.
The competition will grow intensely as each country begins to release their performers. We cannot wait to see Darude make his country, and his community proud.