Ville Virtanen (born July 17, 1975), better known by his stage name Darude is a trance producer and DJ from Eura, Hinnerjoki, Finland. Debuting in 1995, he released the hit single "Sandstorm" in late 1999 and subsequent album Before the Storm. His music is characterized by its progressive/uplifting style. Virtanen started his career as an amateur musician while in technical school, making music using his PC's tracker software. As his interest in music production rapidly grew, he moved on to more serious production techniques. While at a classmate's party, Virtanen played the song "Rude Boy" (written by Swedish artist Leila K) four times. This earned him the nickname "Rude Boy," which gradually morphed into "Da Rude", which in turn inspired the name "Darude". Virtanen continued producing music, occasionally releasing demos to radio stations beginning in 1997, and offering his music for download on MP3.com. In 1999, he gave a demo for "Sandstorm" to his producer, JS16 (Jaakko Salovaara). Virtanen signed on with JS16's 16 Inch Records label, and shortly thereafter, "Sandstorm" was released as a single.