Sandstorm (instrumental)

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Sandstorm single.jpg
Single by Darude
from the album Before the Storm
Released26 October 1999[1]
Recorded1999 at JS16 Studios (Finland)
  • 7:26 (original mix)
  • 3:45 (radio edit)
  • 16 Inch (FIN)
  • Neo (UK)
  • Robbins (US)
Songwriter(s)Ville Virtanen
Darude singles chronology
"Feel the Beat"
Audio sample
Music video
"Sandstorm" (music video) on YouTube

"Sandstorm" is a trance instrumental by Finnish DJ and record producer Darude. It was released as the lead single from his debut studio album Before the Storm. It was initially released in Finland on 26 October 1999 by 16 Inch Records and was later re-released in many other countries in 2000. The track was uploaded to where it gained global recognition. It has also gained recognition for its usage in sports and popularity in internet meme culture. On 1 March 2010, over ten years after its original release, "Sandstorm" was certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 500,000 copies.[2]


The Roland JP-8080 synthesizer used in "Sandstorm" (pictured); displaying "sand storm" on its screen, from which the title is derived.[3]

Darude first started making happy hardcore with a music tracker program on his computer, playing gigs as "Rudeboy".[4] He then performed with Wille "Weirdness" Heikkilä as "Position 1", making light Eurodance tunes, and he paired with other DJs on other projects. In September–October 1999[4] as Darude he began collaborating with Jaakko "JS16" Salovaara, known as the producer of the Bomfunk MC's.[5] "Sandstorm" was the first product of the collaboration, ready after about a week of work. JS16 signed Darude as the first artist on JS16's new label 16 Inch Records.[4]

Darude had been uploading various pieces of his trance experimentation on the website, where he was building a following, and he also uploaded the full-length demo of "Sandstorm". This exposure was responsible for worldwide interest in "Sandstorm".[6] In 2000, Darude reported on his artist's page that he had "removed the full-length tracks" of "Sandstorm" at the request of his record company.[7]

The title of the instrumental originates from the Roland JP-8080 synthesizer used in the song, which displays the text "sand storm" on startup.[3]

In a 2016 Reddit AMA interview, Darude admitted that he had never experienced an actual sandstorm but had experienced a dust devil.[8]


"Sandstorm" is an instrumental trance composition.[5][9][10] According to Darude, the hardware and software used to make the track are as follows: P2, Cubase VST 32, FastTracker 2, ReBirth, Korg TR-Rack. Then with JS16 in his studio: Cubase on Atari ST1024, Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler, Roland JP8080, NordLead2, Roland JV2080, Ensoniq DP4, Mackie 24/8, Behringer rack compressor.[11][12]

Music video[edit]

A still from the music video for "Sandstorm", showing Darude at Helsinki Senate Square

The video for "Sandstorm" features Darude with headphones viewing two armed security guards (a man and a woman) chasing a woman with a case. Darude seems to appear at every place where the pursuers and the pursued go. Near the end, the woman with the case stumbles and one of her pursuers (the other woman) betrays her partner, knocking him out. The two women take the case onto a boat with Darude. As of 1 February 2019, the music video uploaded on YouTube via an official channel has garnered nearly 144 million views.[13]

The video was directed by Juuso Syrjä, a.k.a. Uzi,[14] and was shot in various places in Helsinki, including the Helsinki Cathedral and the Senate Square.[15] It became the first Finnish music video shown on MTV in the US and it received several awards in Finland and on MTV.[14]

Usage in media[edit]

In film and television[edit]

"Sandstorm" appeared on the pilot episode of popular Showtime series Queer as Folk, which first aired on 3 December 2000.[16] The track has appeared in the comedy movie (2005 remake) Fun with Dick and Jane. In 2013 it appeared in the drama film Filth and in Under the Skin (during the discothèque scene). On a Finnish TV-show called "Far Out" two contestants named Tatu and Eeka travelled to Budapest where their assignment was to play music with gypsies. They ended up with making their own version of Sandstorm called "Sandström" together with two Hungarian musicians.[17] "Sandstorm" was also used in the 2001 Finnish film Tango Cabaret (Tango Kabaree).[18]

In sports[edit]

In 2009, "Sandstorm" was played for the first time at the University of South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium during a Gamecocks football game. While it was actually played by accident during the waning minutes of the Gamecocks' victory over Ole Miss, it has become a rallying anthem for South Carolina fans.[19][20]

Professional wrestler Toru Owashi,[21] mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva, and baseball pitcher Koji Uehara use "Sandstorm" as entrance music. It was also played at the 2006 Winter Olympics, and during the Ice Hockey World Championships. Nike used the composition in an advertisement series featuring the basketball opponents Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.[6] It was also used as the theme for the finals parade at the 2011 British Judo Championships (Pre Cadet and Cadet) held in Sheffield, England. Cambridge United FC use Sandstorm as the music that plays when the teams come out onto the field of play before the match begins.

Internet phenomenon[edit]

The popularity of the "Sandstorm" as background music for those who stream their video gaming on the Twitch platform led to a meme that any question asking for the name of any song was replied to with the comment "Darude – Sandstorm."[22]

As an April Fools' Day joke on 1 April 2015, YouTube displayed the message "Did you mean: Darude – Sandstorm by Darude" for all video search queries involving music, in addition to adding a button which played the tune during a video.[23][24]

Track listing[edit]

CD – Single[25]
1."Sandstorm" (Radio Edit)3:46
2."Sandstorm" (Original Mix)7:26
3."Sandstorm" (JS16 Remix)7:21
Sandstorm (The Remixes) – EP[26]
1."Sandstorm" (Radio Edit)3:49
2."Sandstorm" (Extended)7:26
3."Sandstorm" (Dallas Superstars Remix)8:24
4."Sandstorm" (Komytea Radio Remix)3:54
5."Sandstorm" (Komytea Remix)7:40
6."Sandstorm" (DJ Ray Aka Tom Hafman Remix)7:13
7."Sandstorm" (Superchumbo's Sandy Storm)8:38
8."Sandstorm" (Jan Driver Remix)6:16


Soon after release, "Sandstorm" became popular on pop radio stations, reaching number one in Norway.[27] Its sales worldwide eventually reached 2 million, and it was featured on 200 compilations.[6]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[59] Platinum 13,025[59]
Germany (BVMI)[60] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[61] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[62] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[2] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

In popular culture[edit]

In 2018, Alex Christensen, along with Melanie C and the Berlin Orchestra, made an orchestral version of the song which was included on Christensen's album titled 'Classical '90s Dance 2'.[63]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Darude – Sandstorm (single)". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "American single certifications – Darude – Sandstorm". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  3. ^ a b "The Story of 'Sandstorm' by Darude". Vice. YouTube. 26 December 2017. Event occurs at 14:33. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Niemelä, Antti. "Darude interview". Findance. Archived from the original on 10 January 2001.
  5. ^ a b "Darude – Discography". Archived from the original on 6 March 2001.. Findance.
  6. ^ a b c Burcher 2012, pp. 146–7.
  7. ^ "Darude". Archived from the original on 11 May 2000..
  8. ^ Hooton, Christopher (27 July 2016). "Darude admits he's never actually been in a sandstorm". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  9. ^ Sirén, Vesa (8 February 2003). "Finland's biggest foreign hits are composed by..." Helsingin Sanomat. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Sandstorm Lyrics". MetroLyrics. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. ^ "I am Darude. AMA! (self.Music)". Reddit.
  12. ^ Darude (26 December 2017). The Story of 'Sandstorm' by Darude. Vice. Event occurs at 2:32. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  13. ^ Rasmussen, Austin (1 February 2019). "Darude Chosen to Represent Finland at Eurovision 2019". EDMTunes. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Ohjaaja muistelee – näin syntyi maailmaa säväyttäneen Daruden Sandstormin musiikkivideo!" (in Finnish). Nelonen. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Myrskyisä pako läpi Helsingin katujen" (PDF). Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 16 November 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Season 1". Archived from the original on 25 June 2003..
  17. ^ "Tatu & Eeka - Sandström" on YouTube
  18. ^ "Tango Kabaree (2001)" (in Finnish). Elonet. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  19. ^ Kendall, Josh (2013). 100 Things South Carolina Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-60078-850-5.
  20. ^ Kearns, Taylor (30 November 2010). "USC students, fans make "Sandstorm" their unofficial anthem". WIS. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  21. ^ "Profile" (in Japanese). Dramatic Dream Team. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007.
  22. ^ Higgins, Chris (2 April 2015). "Darude on making the only song in eSports". Red Bull. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  23. ^ Baroni, Nastassia (2 April 2015). "YouTube Are Pulling An Amazing April Fools Gag With Help From Darude". Music Feeds. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  24. ^ Hooton, Christopher (1 April 2015). "YouTube adds a 'Darude Sandstorm' button to all videos". The Independent. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Darude - Sandstorm (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Sandstorm (The Remixes) – EP". iTunes. Retrieved 17 November 2015..
  27. ^ a b " – Darude – Sandstorm". VG-lista. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  28. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  29. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  30. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  31. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. 6 October 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 112 (28): 47. 8 July 2000. ISSN 0006-2510..
  34. ^ "Darude: Sandstorm" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  35. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  36. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  37. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Sandstorm". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  38. ^ "Top 10 Dance Singles, Week Ending 15 June 2000". GfK Chart-Track. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  39. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  40. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Darude - Sandstorm" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  41. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  42. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm / Feel The Beat". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  43. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  44. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  45. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  46. ^ " – Darude – Sandstorm". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  47. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  48. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  49. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  50. ^ a b c d e "Darude – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  51. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2000" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  52. ^ "Classement Singles – année 2000" (in French). Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  53. ^ "Jahrescharts – 2000". (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  54. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 2000". Top 40. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  55. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2000" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  56. ^ "Årslista Singlar – År 2000" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  57. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2000". (in German). Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  58. ^ "Yearly Best Selling Singles" (PDF). British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  59. ^ a b "Darude" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  60. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Darude; 'Sandstorm')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  61. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2000" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  62. ^ "British single certifications – Darude – Sandstorm". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Sandstorm in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  63. ^ "Alex Christensen & The Berlin Orchestra (2) - Classical 90s Dance 2". Discogs. Retrieved 20 November 2019.


External links[edit]