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The Story Behind 'Sandstorm,' One of the Biggest EDM Songs of All Time

How an unknown clubgoer turned into an iconic European DJ.

How an unknown clubgoer turned into an iconic European DJ.

VICE Staff

You might not know "Sandstorm" by name, but you've definitely heard it. Darude's EDM song has been a hit at clubs across the globe for years, spawned a legendary meme, and served as a backing track for countless YouTube gems. The track is so ubiquitous, it's easy to forget its origin story is just as wild as the song itself.

On this VICE Special, we take a deep dive into "Sandstorm" with the man who wrote it, Ville Virtanen, AKA Darude. In the late 90s, the Finn was just an average clubgoer with a passion for mixing—but when he released "Sandstorm," he rocketed to the top of the charts, nabbing high-profile DJ gigs at clubs he'd only dreamed of playing. Virtanen tells VICE how he came up with the song and introduces the producers and DJs who helped make it a banger. Then, we follow him to his set at a massive EDM festival in Finland, where—16 years after it came out—"Sandstorm" is still a hit.