Out Popster Darren Ockert's Busy 'Modern Life'
BY Trudy Ring
November 22 2012 7:00 AM ET
Among his distinguishing characteristics is the fact that he’s been out as a gay man from the beginning of his career. “That was not an easy decision, but it was a very considered decision,” he says. “If you can’t be true to yourself … it just wouldn’t feel right to me.” Still, he says, he is not defined by being gay any more than a straight artist is by being straight: “I consider myself a musician who just happens to be gay.”
His lyrics, sometimes touched with irony, sometimes marked by yearning, tend to avoid gendered pronouns; he’s often an “I” singing to a “you,” and sometimes a “we.” “If it’s in the first person, it connects with the listener more,” he says.
While realizing his lifelong dream of connecting with audiences through pop music, Ockert is doing so after a slight career detour into theater. He’s a graduate of the London School of Musical Theatre, and he became one of the youngest theater producers in the British capital, working with the Young Vic. This work was responsible for an important change in his life: It brought him to the United States, when the Young Vic’s production of Arabian Nights had a limited run in New York City in 2000.
“I came to the U.S. to see the show and fell in love with it,” he says. He’s been a U.S. resident for a little more than 10 years, initially living in New York, then moving in 2010 to Miami, where he now lives with his partner.
He loves Miami, which he has described as perhaps “the sexiest city on the planet,” but the life of a musician means he has to leave home sometimes. Fortunately, he’s looking forward to hitting the road in support of his new album. “I can’t wait to be out touring and sharing this music with people,” he says.
For more about Darren Ockert, go to his website here. And watch the video for his single “Celebrity du Jour” below.