Sandstorm was the anthem of 1999 through to about 2001. It unleashed itself with great intensity the world’s EDM didn’t know what was hitting them. Darude hit a record benchmark which would have allowed him to easily live life on a tropical beach for the rest of his days, but because he has music coursing through his veins, he couldn’t sit around on a beach, he had to be in a studio and in a DJ booth.
With over 10 years heavily touring North and South America, as well as leading shows in Asia and Australia, Darude has received numerous accolades with previous entries in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ Poll, BPM Magazine’s Americas Favourite DJ list and winning the USA Golden Turntable DJ Award in 2002, two German Dance Awards in 2000, a Dance Star Award in 2001, as well as being a three time Finnish Grammy Award winner!
After my review of Darude’s fourth artist album “Moments”, I caught up with him to talk about his life after the storm, extraterrestrial existence, and his Enmass Music imprint, and this is what he had to tell me.
Raquel Richards: What was one of your most memorable moments making “Moments”?
Darude: “There were so many, but one really amazing one was when I was able to slip in the famous Roland TR909 drum machine in the lyrics, and meaningfully, too, if I may say so myself.”
RR: How did you like YouTube’s Troll of Epic Proportions with the release of “Moments” on April Fool’s Day? You couldn’t ask for better PR!
D: “LOVED IT, of course! Had so much fun planning for it and then saw it actually happen, which I really didn’t believe it would, until I started seeing it with my own eyes. Crazy cool people at YouTube, I’ll tell ya!”
RR: How did you connect with Al AM to produce “Beautiful Alien”? Did you have her vocals in mind or did her vocal come after the track was written?
D: “My record company arranged a writing camp in Denmark, that’s how I connected with her (her real name is Maia Daniella Andersen) and several other talented writers and producers who helped me with the album tracks. When producer Steffen Aba, writers Jacob “Ubizz” Uchorczak and Maia aka AI AM and I started working, we went thru concepts & sounds that each of us had brought in and one of Aba’s demos with a strong energetic bassline caught my ear. Then we talked about this lyrical idea Maia had which I think is about a person who’s proud to be different and confident, you know, not everybody has to be from the same mould, but in this case there might just be something somewhat other-worldly behind the lyrics, too. The Beautiful Alien lyrics & vocal recording and a very solid demo got done that day. Aba and I had another session in Finland in my studio and I also did a bunch of additional production, I just had to work a hint of old Darude sound in it to remind my old fans where it all started from and to introduce it to the new generation of dance music lovers!”
RR: Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?
RR: If given the opportunity would you travel to space?
D: “If it was safe and I knew I could get back to my family, then yes!”
RR: What do you feel keeps you on top 15 years later after “Sandstorm”?
D: “I was able to create a name with Sandstorm back then and I’ve been working my butt off to make and play music to my fans and dance music lovers all over the world. I’ve pretty much shaken every hand, slapped every high five, and signed every autograph and so on whenever I had the chance, because I owe it to the people who enable this crazy profession for me. That in turn I believe (or at least I hope) can be sensed by my fans, I’m in this for the love of music and people and I truly appreciate every show, every interview, every conversation and I’m really, really happy that I get to do this for living!”
RR: Since you were one of the first to embrace the MP3 with “Sandstorm” what direction do you see music distribution going today?
D: “I don’t think there’s much more where it can go, since the unit sales have been drying up already and the streaming is taking over more and more, streaming is the future. I’m guessing there will be more streaming services and hopefully more competition in that field so that the streaming revenue would be put to more rational and beneficial numbers. For a music loving consumer there’s never been a better time to find and get music, but I’m not absolutely certain the artists and writers are getting what they deserve from the streaming based models right now. Business models have really turned upside down for both record companies and artists in the last 5 or so years.”
RR: You started Enmass Music to not only push your music but for the artists you believe in. Who stands out on you imprint?
D: “My partner in crime Randy Boyer and his production partner Boyan Angelov as Boyan & Boyer have put out a steady stream of kicking, dirty, catchy electro house numbers and lately I’ve played DaCruz‘s This Is The Life a lot!”
RR: With over 10 years travelling the globe where is your favourite DJ booth and why?
D: “Damn… That’s a tough one… There are a couple of criteria, namely the layout and height of the table, the view of the room and closeness to the crowd and of course the sound. I recently played at Cielo in New York and I’ve gotta say their booth is definitely in my top 5. The Funktion One sound system in the club kicks some serious behind and the booth system matches it nicely and you have everything nicely laid out and your vantage point to the crowd is as good as it gets. Their sound guy Steve is a top dude, too!”
A special thanks to Darude for chatting with teamEDMTOR. We loved “Moments”, and we look forward to what he and Enmass Music have in store for us in the future!