Whilst famed for creating perhaps the most requested track ID of all time, Darude’s career is filled with years of experience, which has seen him release four studio albums, earn a string of awards and multi-platinum discs, and perform at major events from Parookaville to Tomorrowland. After launching his weekly live-stream show called Vibing Out, the project has since evolved into a broader creative hub that recently saw Darude launch an audio and visual record label of the same name. Following a selection of early singles with ‘Outlaws,’ ‘Nobody Listens’ with Gid Sedgwick and ‘Breathe’ with Oskr and Bianca. Darude now presents his fifth studio album ‘Together’ in honour of you, his fellow party people.
Landing on the Finnish DJ/Producer’s fresh label Vibing Out, the 12-track long-player is stacked with dynamic rushes, rave energy and the raw power to soundtrack dancefloor memories already made and yet to come. We caught up with Finland’s leading electronic figure to learn more about this milestone release.
So, Darude, thank you for joining us! We see you were very busy at ADE, how did this year’s event compare to past years for you?
– ADE is always fun, and this year we made it especially fun for us as we didn’t pack the schedule with million meetings, but rather had some really nice interviews and then I did two workshops at ADE Labs. One was a Vibing Out (my label) A&R session where I commented on two producers’ tracks that they gave right then and there on a USB stick and I loaded into my DAW and we all listened to it. I commented and also took crowd questions, thoughts, and suggestions and it was really cool. The other workshop was a remix contest for my track with Gid Sedgwick, “Closer Together” from my new album. The producers had 30 minutes to produce a remix from stems they had just received at the start of the contest. I got to pick my favorite to release on Vibing Out. Only problem was that the production level was so high and there were so many good options, that we decided to go with 4 winners! Can’t wait for you to hear them!
How would you describe ADE to someone who hasn’t been before?
– ADE is a really nice, professional, but relaxed music industry meeting where you meet upcomers and veterans alike and you can even brush shoulders with your admired peers. Tons of useful panels, lectures, workshops and chance-meetings, and SO many parties, too!
Your upcoming album ‘Together’ is out on Friday 3rd November, how can you describe the creative process of working on this album compared to your previous four?
– Well, I guess I’ve continued widening my scope a bit.But it’s still all very much dance floor-aimed energetic, simple and beautiful emotive music. I’ve again collaborated with several people on the writing side and I’ve had the pleasure of working with several amazing singers like Oskr, Bianca, Gid Sedgwick, Leah-Lou, Paenda, and Evan Henzi. Some of the tracks are long, longtime dreams now realized (‘Endless Wave’ started in around 2000, ‘Alive’ in 1999, and ‘Fairytale’ around 2007) and there are some brand new ones from this and last year. Working on the album and selecting these tracks specifically for it was partially like closing a book – cleaning the slate – in a good way, and I’m happy that I finally found forms for those records to be worthy to be presented to the world because they are incredibly amazing and very meaningful for me.
The artwork from the singles you have released so far seem to follow pattern, can you explain the idea behind this aesthetic choice?
– Yes, we have an amazing graphic artist,Bifu,who has designed the ‘Together’ album world and the singles are a part of this concept.She came up with this idea of symbols for each track – which she completely ran with, and did an amazing job. There’s the heart for ‘Closer Together’, the halo for ‘Breathe’, the mute sign for ‘Nobody Listens.’ Some are self-explanatory, some not quite so, but all have personal meanings to the writers and me and are of course based on the lyrics and the feelings and vibes they evoke in us. Come see me at a show and you’ll see the symbols come to life on screens during my set. We have a really great set of limited edition merch using the symbols as well.
How different is the process of producing a standalone single compared to producing a track as part of an album like ‘Together’? Is there any key differences in mentality, approach or anything else?
– A random single track in a random moment can be triggered and inspired by anything and I’d lie if I said that all the tracks on ‘Together’ were purposely produced for the album. But putting together an album, for me, means picking tracks that are meaningful in some way and somehow tie together nicely, fit the vibe and also are somehow in the same realm sound-wise. For me these tracks are all something I want to present as a package in this moment and chose them out of at least another album’s worth of tracks. Nothing wrong with them, either, but I felt these went great together, the sequence works, and they also differ from each other, but perhaps could still be played in one set, even, if one wanted to. Releasing an album definitely feels much more significant than just one single, or even an EP.It’s a body of work and I still am of the generation that used to listen to albums from start to finish.And while I know that’s not really the norm today, my secret wish is that my album finds at least some people out there that listen to it from the beginning to the end and feel what I felt when I made the album and what I feel when I now listen to it.
This will be your 5th studio album! How would you describe the difference in the scene now compared to when you released your first?
– It’s the best time EVER to be a music fan, that’s for sure. Streaming services do get a lot of flak. Through streaming and near-free access to music, it has become much more like a business card for artists. Something you sell gigs and merch with, not something you sell in itself, and it seems it’s devalued music greatly, IMHO. That said, I’m in the game myself and also starting a label that will use streaming platforms as a means to distribute music, so the flip side of it is that almost everyone has had to change their ways of thinking and their business models to better fit the modern times. Discoverability and potential exposure can be huge, if you have a great piece of music and if you get picked to a big playlist. ‘IF’. Just the ‘if’ and the potential exposure don’t always pay much, though, especially if you are not a performing artist, but “only” a writer behind the scenes.So there are definite downsides to the changes from the early days when physical sales were still the thing. There are upsides, too, like I previously mentioned – you can find anything and everything in a few seconds and discover similar new music like never before.And you can also be an independent artist and put out your own music yourself very quickly and with very little cost. Whether or not it gets to be heard by the masses – that’s up to you, your marketing chops – and a healthy dose of luck.
You have worked with Oskr on two of the three singles already released from the album, can we see him featured again on the full tracklist? Who else have you enjoyed working with on this project?
- You’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless, I definitely will want to work with the man again and again, as he’s a top dude and an amazing singer and songwriter. He’s got a beautiful rasp in his voice and he can sing clean high and soft low, too.Plus he’s got a great sense of moving melodies and harmonies.
- All the singers have been great to work with. But after Oskr, who I’ve also had joining me on the road for several gigs, I’ve had most interaction with Gid Sedgwick who also is wonderfully open and excited about all kinds of things in the vocals and studio realm. ‘Closer Together’ took a whole bunch of back and forth and ‘Nobody Listens’ was pretty much nailed by him on one go. Both turned out great and I’m very proud and happy about our work!
- Working with other people these days can seem strange at times, as you don’t necessarily need to meet in person. For example, the lovely Bianca, Oskr’s duet partner in ‘Breathe.’ I only met herfor first time at this ADE – so at least 6 months after she recorded her vocalsand I finished the track! She’s amazing, and I hope to work with her again soon.
If you could describe the style of the album in 5 words, which 5 would you choose?
- Energetic, emotional, electronic dance music.
We see you are into your skateboarding, can you give me your top 3 songs to skate to? They can be any genre!
– Bad Religion –‘Punk Rock Song,’ Therapy? –‘Nowhere’ & Metallica –‘Master Of Puppets’
With album on the way, will you to take some time off or are you straight back in the studio? What can we expect in the near future?
– I’ve taken some time off this Summer.The album was finished a few months ago on my part, and I’m already working on some new stuff. But it’s been nice not to have such a big project weighing on mein the near future. So I’ve enjoyed just noodling around, finding sounds, and messing with my new IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro X, that has an amazing 303-like bassline mode – but on steroids! Highly recommended! Near future is about album promo with interviews like this ;), some radio and TV shows, and DJ mixes.Andof course touring that starts November 3rd with the Finnish leg. Then some North America, Australia, and other parts of the world. I’ll also keep on live streaming on twitch.tv/darude every Tuesday at 8pm EET/6pm UK/1PM ET/10am PT/too late in OZ&NZ 😉
Come say hi to me live and let me know what you think of the album!
You can check out Darude’s new album ‘Together’ via:https://found.ee/Darude-Together