There are few dance songs more iconic than Darude‘s “Sandstorm.” It’s instantly recognizable; hear one second of its neon orange synth, and it’s stuck in your head for the rest of the day. But how did this Finnish hit skyrocket to world domination at the beginning of the century?
Darude shares the behind-the-scenes story of his most famous anthem in a special video presentation from Vice. It turns out he wrote that classic synth melody two years earlier. Throwing it onto the “Sandstorm” beat was almost an afterthought. He also credits his partner and 16 Inch label founder JS16 with helping the track get the push it needed to ever make it out of his hometown.
The production pair spent two days in the studio finishing the track. You can see the modular synths Darude and JS16 used in the studio to create the signature sound. Two weeks after completion, Darude’s life changed forever. You can also hear from DJs who supported the tune, visit the spot where the “Sandstorm” music video was filmed, and see what Darude’s been up to in the 17 years since his big break.
It’s a really interesting story with more drama than you may realize. Special shout out to modern gaming culture, which helps keep the track alive today — not that it needs any help.