Out Popster Darren Ockert's Busy 'Modern Life'
BY Trudy Ring
November 22 2012 8:00 AM ET
With a captivating new EP, a RightOutTV award, and an album and a documentary in the works, it won’t be long before dance-pop musician Darren Ockert has “arrived as the famous,” as he puts it in award-winning track “This Modern Life (1984).”
That tune won as Best Electronic/Dance/Hip Hop/R&B Song in October at the RightOutTV Music and Video Awards, which promote and honor the contributions of out LGBTI music artists. It’s one of four songs on Ockert’s recently released EP, The Rain From London, which mixes infectious instrumentations with introspective, haunting lyrics.
“I’ve always loved a good, well-written pop song, and I’ve always been fascinated by electronic music,” says the singer-songwriter-producer, an Englishman now living in Miami.
Being a musician, he says, has been his lifelong ambition. He grew up with music-loving parents — “I remember my dad getting a John Lennon album and just playing it on repeat” — and he was encouraged in his ambitions by “a really amazing music teacher I had in primary school” and was the first person to show him a synthesizer.
He also grew up listening to the pop music of the 1980s and ’90s, developing a love for such acts as the Eurythmics, Madonna, George Michael, ABBA, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Ockert’s music recalls the best of that era, yet it’s clearly contemporary as well.
While poised for greater fame, Ockert is not exactly unknown. He released his first album, Anything Is Possible, in 2005, and it brought him substantial critical praise and a 2006 OutMusic Awards nomination. He has several singles to his credit, and he cowrote and produced Grace Garland’s album Lovers Never Lie (in Bed).
Now he’s finishing his second studio album, tentatively titled Short Story Long, consisting of what he calls “quirky electro-pop” songs; it will be released next year, and he’ll be touring to support it. He’s also the subject of a documentary being made by Merciless Studio Films, expected to be finished and submitted to film festivals in the new year. The filmmakers had spoken with Ockert about doing some music videos, and they decided they’d like to make a documentary about him.