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Finnish DJ/Producer Darude (born Ville Virtanen) started experimenting with music and DJing while still attending school, adopting the nickname of "the Rude" (later Darude) after Swedish rap star Leila K.'s "Rude Boy."

Producer Jaakko Salovaara (aka JS 16), founder of the independent label 16 Inch, teamed up with him to release his first single, called "Sandstorm." British Neo-Record became involved in the newcomer project soon after. In June 2000, Darude achieved the status of chart-topping artist in the U.K. Around the same time, Ville Virtanen successfully performed on the BBC Top of the Pops show, bringing forth the release of his debut album titled Before the Storm. ~ Drago Bonacich, Rovi