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Before you get into any discussion about Darude, it’s important to know this about “Sandstorm”: Its first life was as a dance hit circa 1999, and its second life began this decade, when it became a meme on YouTube and in the pro gaming community.
The Daily Dot’s Saira Mueller explained the phenomenon in an interview with Darude last November:
“Sandstorm” as a meme has since evolved into an entity of its own. For example, whenever the song is played on Twitch the chat consists almost entirely of people spamming “Dudududuudu”—a nod to the supposed song lyrics (seriously, look them up, it’s hilarious)—”Song name?” or “Darude – Sandstorm,” with various Twitch emotes included.
Occasionally you will now see people ask “Song name?” to entirely different songs as a joke. Or, when someone legitimately asks what the name of a song is, people will reply with “Darude – Sandstorm.”
Many redditors are familiar with this; others are EDM nerds who are familiar with Darude’s surprisingly broad non-“Sandstorm” catalog, so this AMA was more popular than you might expect.
And Darude was extremely chill, full of positive vibes. Asked how he feels about his song becoming a meme, he wrote, “Of course the memefication thing has been totally nuts, and a total surprise. Loving it all, how could I not, it’s a track released almost 17 years ago and it still helps me get gigs, be talked about and gives me a chance to intro people to what I do today!”
When someone told him, “While drunk one night, I played Sandstorm 5 times in a row at the bar. On the fourth play through, they unplugged the juke box” and asked “Was this a dick move on my part, or theirs?” he simply answered “Theirs.”
Beautiful. Darude couldn’t be having more fun.
“No, but in a smaller one, dust devil, or whatever you want to call it… AND, I’ve got a picture from a few years back, when I was landing in Arizona I believe it was, where I literally landed like few minutes a sandstorm blew thru the airport area and you can see the edge on the pic. I tweeted something like ‘I’ve arrived’ with the pic! :)”
Commenters mocked him a little bit, posting “Darude – Dust Devil” and “Darude – Haboob,” but it’s hard to really troll a friendly celebrity DJ who’s living his best life.
Do you, Darude. Dudududuudu you.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.