by David Cohen
photos by Curran Clark
Openly gay indie-pop artist, singer, song-writer, and producer Darren Ockert is channeling the ‘80’s out of Miami Beach, Florida with his new EP The Rain From London, an ode to his birthplace and throwback to the decade of Madonna and Miami Vice.
Born in the small town of Lincoln, just north of London, England, Ockert has been open about his sexuality since the start of his career. After graduating from The London School of Musical Theatre, he established a theater production company in which he produced Off-Broadway show in New York.
In 2005, Ockert began his solo artist career with his debut album Anything is Possible. The album was nominated for a 2006 OutMusic Award: Outstanding New Recording – Debut Male. His 2009 music video “Celebrity du Jour” was in rotation on MTV and Logo’s NewNowNext Pop Lab.
The Rain From London EP was self-produced by Ockert, mixed by Michael Waxman, and beautifully mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony Music Entertainment’s Battery Studios. “I have been inspired by 80s Brit-Pop such as Wham, Eurythmics, Kylie Minogue and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I infused this pop into my songs, but my electro-pop music has more depth and sophistication in the lyric” Ockert stated.
The four-song EP boasts a lyrical nuance that was missing from these acts, as Ockert writes about moving on from past love, finding new love, and on the title track, feeling homesick for the green pastures and winter rains of his former country. “Growing up in England, I always wanted to live somewhere where warm and sunny where the rain isn’t such a nuisance,” said Ockert. “It turns out, rain is just a part of the British experience and sunshine is a state of mind.”
The Rain From London was released in March, 2012 on Ockert’s own label, Shark Meat. The four songs explore the gamut of Ockert’s personality and musicality. The first single, “The Rain From London” is an electropop gem destined for constant spins at clubs and parties, and is an homage to his homeland, as well as a metaphor for a failing relationship. Ockert’s voice rings out reminiscent of contemporaries such as Daniel Beddingfield or Enrique Iglesias as he laments, “Happy endings always leave me feeling sad.”
After the pulsating rhythms of "The Rain From London," Ockert slows things down for the ballads “The Force of Gravity” and “I’ve Moved On.” EP closer “This Modern Life (1984)” pays homage in more than title, mixing in essences of the darker tunes of the decade with Ockert’s modern pop sensibilities.
The video for “The Rain From London” will be released by the end of 2012. Be prepare to see much more from Darren Ockert in 2013, a singer whose music is well worth listening to. Ockert states, “I’m definitely going to be kicking-it-up a notch, next year, with plenty of new electropop, and performing live across the country.”
For more information about Darren Ockert visit www.darrenockert.com.