Darude teaches the world to make music ahead of Eurovision Song Contest

The colourful new puzzle from Helsinki's Big Ear Games inspires young people especially to create music like Darude.

Finland's Darude and Sebastian Rejman (foreground) rehearse their track Look Away in Tel Aviv / Credit: Andres Putting

Finland’s Eurovision hopes are pinned firmly on DJ/Producer Darude and singer Sebastian Rejman at this year’s contest in Tel Aviv.

The duo have already started rehearsals on the main stage, and compete in the first semi- final next Tuesday evening with their climate change anthem ‘Look Away‘.

But ahead of the contest, which sees the ‘Sandstorm’ hitmaker compete against musicians from 40 other countries, Darude has partnered with a Finnish gaming company to inspire people, especially children, to learn how to make music.

In the game, a mix of step-by-step puzzles and bright graphics guide players through the process of building a complete song.

“It caught my eye and ear quite immediately, and my attention, yeah it was addictive” says Darude on a visit to the Big Ear Games‘ office in Helsinki.

“It was very simple and easy, and I think especially for the kids the looks, the colour and the actual sound and the game like learning is the key” he says.

File picture of Big Ear Games artwork / Credit: Big Ear Games

Making music learning fun 

The game is the brainchild of Aviv Ben-Yehuda, an Israeli doctor who moved to Finland more than 20 years ago and became a music teacher.

His passion for making music accessible and fun lead him to create the mobile game.

“In Big Ear Games, our mission is to upgrade the way people are interacting with music and playing with music. We are concentrating on de-mystifying the mystery of how music works” says Ben-Yehuda.

“We take popular songs that everybody knows, and we let the user, the player, build them from scratch by solving musical puzzles” he explains.

Darude’s Eurovision Song Contest entry ‘Look Away’ is the first contemporary chart song included in the Big Ear Game app, which is currently rolling out from its testing phase.

Players build the song piece by piece with elements like melody and percussion as they solve puzzles and bring different parts of Darude’s song to life.

“It’s like LEGO for music” Ben-Yehuda tells News Now Finland.

File picture of Big Ears Games founder Aviv Ben-Yehuda / Credit: News Now Finland

Bringing more artists on board 

One of the strategies for Big Ear Games is to bring more artists – not just from Finland – on board as a way for them to interact with their fans.

Darude has already reached out to players and challenged them to send him social media clips of how they put ‘Look Away’ together within the game.

“For the artists, where do they meet their fans? At festivals or performances or through social media. And there is nothing new there. Social media is also saturated. And people are saying give me something new” explains Aviv Ben-Yehuda.

Artists could work with their own songs or create exclusive content on Big Ear Games that gives fans something extra and exclusive.

“What we are trying to validate here is that this could be a place for artists and their fan base to meet and connect. And now we already validated that the artists are interested, they see the value there” Ben-Yehuda says.

File picture of Aviv Ben-Yehuda playing Big Ear Games on his mobile phone / Credit: News Now Finland

Music brings people together 

Before Darude set off for Tel Aviv rehearsals, he had the chance to visit some Helsinki area schools and introduce the the game as well as his Eurovision track.

One element of his presentation to school children was showing them the traditional way he puts a hit electronic dance music track together, and then showing them in Big Ear Games how they can do the same.

“Music is cool because it unifies people. It brings people together. But also it can bring, with this kinda of game that’s what I just thought, making people realise that music can be quite simple” says Darude.

“If I had had that when I was, I don’t know, my son’s age, he’s nine turning ten this year, that would have given me a 15 year jump start on my music making basically” he adds.

Finland’s Eurovision Song Contest duo Darude and Sebastian Rejman perform third in the first semi-final which takes place on Tuesday 14th May.

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Sebastian Rejman (L) and Darude (R) / Credit: Anton Sucksdorff