Darude to represent Finland at Eurovision Song Contest

'Sandstorm' DJ to team up with Sebastian Rejman in Tel Aviv later this spring.

File picture of Sebastian Rejman (R) and Darude (L) / Credit: Anton Sucksdorff, Yle

Sandstorm warning! Finland’s official candidate for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is trance artist Darude – real name Ville Virtanen.

Public broadcaster Yle made the announcement today, that Darude will pair up with singer Sebastian Rejman to represent the country in Tel Aviv in May.

“I am kind of a patriot that when the invitation came up, I considered for a moment, and said yes with pleasure” said Darude at this afternoon’s official announcement.

Darude is one of Finland’s most successful artists all time with his biggest hit Sandstorm, becoming the first Finnish track to be streamed more than 100 million times on Spotify.

Although Sandstorm was released 20 years ago, Darude continues to produce albums and DJ at festivals all around the world.

Selecting the right song

In March, the public and an international jury will be asked to select one of three song to become the official Finnish Eurovision entry.

Darude and Rejman will release each of the three songs on successive Fridays leading up to the selection on live TV at the UMK New Music Competition in early March, in Turku.

The format is a repeat of last year’s format when singer Saara Aalto was the chosen artist, and the public voted for one of the three songs she performed at Finland’s national selection UMK.

The Eurovision song contest will be held this year in Tel Aviv, Israel. The semifinals will take place on 14th and 16th May, with the finals on Saturday 18th May.

Finland will perform in the first semifinal against countries like Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Belgium, France and Germany.