Darren Ockert
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Darren Ockert

Miami, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Pop Electro




"Vocalist Magazine Interview"

From a very young age I was always trying to write songs and the main thing that really got me into music was my parents buying me a synthesizer. I had seen my teacher bring one into a music class and I was just obsessed with it. I begged my parents to buy me this synthesizer which now, you can probably find on eBay be- cause no one uses them anymore but that was kind of my introduction into writing and wanting to perform.

My biggest influence was the production team Stock, Aitiken and Waterman; they really dominated the UK charts when I was growing up. It’s really a sound rather than a person; they produced a lot of art- ists like Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Donna Summer, Dead or Alive, etc...kind of a very British/pop sound from the 80s and 90s.
2005 was my debut album and also the launch of Shark Meat Records. We actually had several artists on the label when we were based in New York and it was a lot of work. Being an independent artist and label is 10 times the work then if you were part of a major label because you are trying to get people to listen and respond to
things. But it’s been worth it. We’ve been very persistent and we actually launched a new imprint for my second studio album called Poptastik Records which is the imprint that the second album was released
on. I think one of the great things about it, is the control that you have over where things go, the people you’re dealing with, press, and that sort of thing.

I’m a baritone, which, when I record sounds higher than a baritone...I have no idea why that is but to me, it’s always shocking to hear my own voice. I think it’s unique because, growing up in the UK and now living in the US, I have this mid-Atlantic accent right now so I say things certain ways that are very British but I also have influences in my tone from living in the US. I mean, to me, my voice always sounds surprising initially but when you’ve been recording for years, you know how it sounds on the recording so there isn’t that discrepancy between what you’re hearing in your head and what you’re hearing being played back to you anymore.

I have a routine from way back when I was in college that I still use which I originally had on a tape recorder but I digi- tized and now have in my iTunes. I can just play it whenever I want and do that warm up which is 30 minutes long. I try to do that on a regular basis and if I’m going to the studio or doing any performances that’s my go to warm up.

My sound is heavily influenced by synth/pop and that may throw people off a little because there are some songs on the new album where I use a lot of acoustic instruments in addition to the synth and electro elements around them. My new album is also heavily vocal though it’s in that synth/ pop genre.

The most important things is to know your craft. Know what your sound is; even if it means that before you put out music to the whole world you have to experiment and find out what really works for you and your voice.
I want to have a couple more albums out, I want to be pro- ducing some other artists because I really like working with other people and collaborating on ideas. And of course, in 5 years time, I would love to win a Grammy. - Vocalist Magazine

"Darren Ockert • Short Story Long"

I first discovered the music of Darren Ockert as a judge for the 2012 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards, when he won Best Electronic/Dance/Hip-Hop/R&B Song for "This Modern Life (1984)", off his EP 'The Rain From London'. I immediately went out to Download the EP, which I loved. It was a great collection of ElectroPop elixirs, eager to fix what ever is ailing you. Darren's music has a real sparkle to it, and I was eager for more. I was so excited I couldn't wait when I heard he was getting set to release a new album, I couldn't restrain myself, and pre-ordered it! I couldn't wait to get it, and was thrilled when November 12, 2013 finally came, and I could download 'Short Story Long'!

Darren Ockert - Short Story Long photo DarrenOckertShortStoryLongCOVER_zps0d2de4c4.jpg

Needless to say, the moment I got the notice my purchase was available for download, I was hitting the button, getting even more excited. And it only follows suit that I would hit the 'play' button the minute it was done, and I got my first taste of 'Short Story Long'. The first track is "You Don't Know Me", a great song I had heard before, and will be hearing for some time to come. I just can't get enough of it, so I will share with you the music video for "You Don't Know Me".

The minute I heard Darren sing "Can't Think Straight", a smile grew, I must admit. The song manages to combine a youthful confusion with the innocence of the age. There is also an edge to it, a touch of anger growing out of the confusion. But there is a wonderful joy there, and I love it. That is followed by "Force of Gravity", which slows it down just a bit. Soon the chorus takes off, and the magnificence of the effect of gravity, pulling us back to earth, is a wonderful thing. There is a wonderful flirty, coy feeling on "Not Your Boyfriend", the boy teasing a girl about being her friend, but not her boyfriend. The song have a delicious feel I had a tough time not hitting replay every time I hear it. With the next song, I have to say, we've all been there before, going back to an ex, even though we knew why it didn't work to start with. Indeed, we've all been "Back For More".

From the very beginning, "Running Out of Love" sounded like it was gonna be told from the heart, and it certainly delivered. I know I've been in a relationship (or two) when you saw and felt the end coming, but opted to ignore it and keep running until we were empty. There is an interesting sexiness and strength to "Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down". The energy and tempo are opening up the throttle, looking to stand tall in the light, not succumbing to haters and bullies, looking to tear you down. There is a whole lot of joy in this one, and it is infectious. And speaking of catchy, "This Modern Life (1984)" is a glorious offering, a brilliant Pop confection with a hint of 1980s Pop without losing footing in the music of today. I cannot resist dancing to this one, fist pumping in the air. As the beginning of "Crumbs" starts, I remember how much I loved this when I saw the recent music video.

The lightness of the music for the beginning of "Center of Attention" belies the depth of the song, dealing with Mommy issues and other things that take you out of a relationship, leaving a partner very lonely. "Everybody's Lonely" starts out with the overall human condition, telling us that "everybody's lonely, everybody hurts". Ain't that the truth, that is one of the common denominators we all share, at least with a few relationships in all our lives. Maybe, just maybe, if we reached out to others when we feel this, could it help? With "I've Moved On", we've reached the last cut on the album. With music this good, it hardly seems like I've been listening for more than 15 minutes, yet the clock tells me 45 minutes has actually passed. The song talks about that moment when we know we must move away from a situation, a relationship that has become toxic to our lives and well-being. We all knew it wasn't the easy solution, but the only one that might help us spare our heart, and our spirit. This is a great conclusion to the album, the affirmation that we must take better care of ourselves at times, protecting us from the inertia that pins us in unhealthy relationships. The album is all about emotional release, from new love to moving on. There is much joy, a lot of love, and so much heart to be shared in the music, it is simply irresistible. You can download 'Short Story Long' from iTunes and CD Baby, or you can purchase the CD from Amazon. For more about Darren Ockert, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, or 'follow' him on Twitter. - Soundtrack To My Day Blog

"Darren Ockert's "Short Story Long""

British born pop artist Darren Ockert may not be a renowned name at the moment, but with the release of his official second studio album, Short Story Long, that is all about to change. With a talent for crafting infectious hooks and incorporating attention-grabbing production, the Miami-native’s new effort is the true definition of synth-pop.

Preceded by two diverse singles, the crisp and uplifting “You Don’t Know Me” and the darker, somewhat depressing “Crumbs”, Ockert moves smoothly across 12 tracks of guilty pleasure yet meaningful pop that highlight intriguing vocal performances and an ear for catchy, radio friendly tunes. The artist may not have the millions of followers as those on top of the charts now, but his new album is a must hear for those die-hard fans of dance floor-ready magic.

Straight out of the pages of Owl City’s colorful book, the album’s lead single “You Don’t Know Me” is a sparkling reminder for the bullied to stand strong. Besides the infectious production, Ockert’s songwriting is what lifts the opening track to pop masterpiece level. The message is positive, the vocals are alive and the overall package is uplifting. It certainly brought a smile to my face.

“Can’t Think Straight” may be filled with nauseating, stomach-turning lines, “if I’m purple, you are orange, feels like we, should just give up”, is just one, but there’s something about the track where saying “it’s so bad it’s really good” would not be too far-fetched. The verses definitely could have used some fine tuning; however, the pulsating chorus brings the entire thing to a decent, commendable finish.

Chosen as a finalist in the 2012 UK Songwriting Contest, “Force of Gravity” is a piano-driven moment where the spotlight certainly shines down on Ockert’s vocals. The writing is top notch, the production gives an eerie, 80s-sounding vibe which shifts into pure mid-tempo pop heaven when the chorus comes up. Safe to call a ballad, the track is one of the main reasons the album should be discovered.

While I’m glad “Not Your Boyfriend” is not directed towards me, you cannot help but feel sorry for the girl in question. Giving off a 90s boy band feel, the pop song seems to warn the artist’s potential love interests not to get too crazy. Supported by a nice dance beat which turns semi-dubstep for a breakdown in the middle, the anti-love song keeps the pace and energy of the preceding tracks.

The guitar-driven “Back For More” is another effort containing eye-rolling lyrics, but they work this time around. “Like a kid drawn to a candy store, I’ll be back for more,” he sings on the slightly romantic, don’t know when to give up, sugary pop song. Once again, Ockert’s love for synth-pop and loud production transports listeners back a decade or two, coming back to 2013 with successful, memorable results.

The sound of a piano sets the mood for the semi-ballad “Running Out of Love”, which has the artist contemplating throwing in the towel on his relationship. Pairing gorgeous instrumentals with a soft electronic beat, the song becomes a heartbreaking, emotional peek into Ockert’s personal life. It would not have been shocking to see the song on a female pop star’s upcoming album, it’s that good.

Ockert gets deliciously explicit and calls everyone back to the club floor for “Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down”. While focusing on the pain of the misunderstood, the artist has written a straightforward answer, an empowerment anthem, to his haters. “When they’re coming on strong, when they’re bringing you down… don’t let them get to you,” he sings while surrounded by show-stopping synths and beats.

“The Modern Life (1984)” is a bizarre throwback of a track, another rebellious anthem for the down trotted and defeated. Who can blame you for having the time of your life? This is Ockert’s question on the upbeat creation which truly does a great job at not falling into a particular category. It’s a bit pop, it’s dance, it’s New Wave, it’s campy, it’s fun.

Released as the effort’s second single, “Crumbs” is a change in pace and sound for the artist. Surrounded by a darker, moodier, slightly 90s alternative rock sound, the song tells the story of two intertwined love stories. We always want more from the ones who steal our heart, unfortunately Ockert sings of those who wait until their heart dies. For a somber moment, it’s pretty darn catchy.

Every album has its dreaded misstep, “Center of Attention” just happens to be the bump in the road for the artist’s new release. The sound is intriguingly different, nothing that would play on the Top 40 radio today, but it completely kills the energy and style presented by the rest of the album. Vocally, the artist seems a bit bored, just going through the motions. Definitely not the brightest moment.

All wrongs are righted with “Everybody’s Lonely”, a pulsating, techno experiment where the artist proclaims that everybody does hurt. Besides upping the production on the dance worthy chorus, the rest of the track keeps a fairly simple pace, never getting overpowered by unnecessary noise. In the end, it’s a nice addition to the overall pop sound of the album. Good vocals, good songwriting.

The album closes with my personal favorite, the heartfelt and honest “I’ve Moved On”, where the artist reminisces on a former flame just to say goodbye once and for all. “Living in the silence, loving through the violence, waiting for you,” Ockert sings with strength, but also with a dose of vulnerability and despair. For the final track, the artist ends things on an extremely high note, promising bigger and better things in the future.

Short Story Long is an album which truly deserves to be found, a synth-pop experiment that highlights an artist’s strong vocal abilities and story-like songwriting. Darren Ockert’s second try at a pop release soars to certain highs, stumbling only once. Yes, some of the lyrics may sound like they are coming for a pre-teen, but just like Cher, Ockert allows any cliché to become a romantic and heartfelt telling of personal issues. While production on many pop efforts can get out of hand, the artist uses catchy, infectious beats to assist in making an impact on the listener. For an album that accidentally fell into my laps, it receives an 86%.

Tracks to Hear: “You Don’t Know Me”, “Force of Gravity”, “Back For More”, and “I’ve Moved On” - Album Confessions Blog

"Style 101 Magazine Interview"

I was happy to have stumbled upon some new music recently, especially with the overabundance of everything LONDON; here's a British artist worth listening to!

His name is Darren Ockert, and he has travelled the world, giving people a taste of electropop music... take note:

1) Who are you, and what do you plan to accomplish with your talent?
I am Darren Ockert, an indie-pop artist (originally from England), creating infectious, electropop music in Miami. I’ve been influenced by many of the fashion-forward, Brit-Pop artists of the 1980’s and 90’s (such as Wham!, Eurythmics, Kylie Minogue and Frankie Goes To Hollywood), and love to infuse some of that fun, British pop sensibility into my songs. I plan to show the world that electropop music can be more than just getting on the dance floor and shaking your booty; it can also have some lyrical depth and sophistication… while still shaking your booty on the dance floor.

2) When did people start to notice your potential?

I studied music in London and was accepted into a pretty prestigious music program. My big breakthrough was in 2006, after transplanting from London to New York City; my debut album, “Anything Is Possible,” was nominated for an OutMusic award and I opened the award show in New York City with my song “Out Of The Rain.” After that, I was invited to perform to a crowd of 10,000 in Cologne, Germany, for one of their biggest festivals.

3) Where is your career headed next?
I just released my EP, The Rain From London, and will be releasing a music video for the title track, later this year. I’m currently finishing the recording of a follow-up EP and album for 2013; I’m definitely going to be kicking-it-up a notch, next year, with plenty of new, electropop flowing out of Miami and performing live, across the country. With all the attention on London, this year (Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee), I’m also hoping to get back to my roots for some performances back home, though having been in the States for so long, they do tease me for my reverse-Madonna accent! Get ready to shake your booty!
Please have a listen and stream Ockert's hit single, "The Rain From London" NOW!!!
:-D - Style 101

"NY Social Status Interview"

New York is home to thousands of artists from all over the country. Because of its mass appeal and reputation as the world’s melting pot, the city is also home to thousands of artists from outside the United States. Broadway producer turned musician, writer and producer, Darren Ockert stands out among these artists in light of his list of accomplishments since relocating here from Lincoln, England.

With beginnings in a small town in the United Kingdom, it seems that Ockert’s arrival in New York was only a matter of time. The current writer and producer of electro-pop started out in London on production for a musical that toured the UK and eventually found its way to New York City’s Broadway. Ockert maintains that this experience was his introduction to New York, and he never left because he loved it.

Photo credit to Curren Clark

“I’m from Lincoln, an all-white, small town and everything is all the same,” Ockert explains. “London was a big draw for me and New York even more. I love New York. I have so many great experiences and friends there.”

Though Broadway and theatre initially brought him to the states, Ockert soon discovered that he preferred the music scene, and in 2005 he released his first album and shifted all of his focus to music. This debut release was nominated in 2006 for the Out Music Award for Debut Male Album, an award that originated in 2000 as an effort on the part of LGBT Recording Academy to promote and recognize outstanding accomplishments within the LGBT music community. That same year, Ockert found himself on the initial voting ballot for the Grammys.

Of course, as a gay recording musician, Ockert admits that his lifestyle definitely has an effect on his work, but he maintains that his sexual identity is only a fraction of the person that he is.

“Every songwriter draws from his own experience,” Ockert says. “Being gay does play a role in what I write, but it’s just one part of me, not the whole of me. I just happen to be an artist from the LGBT community.”

Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenockert

Though Ockert has utmost respect for artists whose work purposely embodies and represents the gay community, he strives for a more widely understood and identifiable style. This outlook on his music and life contributes to the global quality that Ockert incorporates into his tracks.

“I try to make my songs as universal as possible,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter what type of person, everyone is human and experiences the same things, and if I can make my music open, we can all connect. We’ve moved on from being separate and it is now about being together.”

In line with his universal message, Ockert’s career has taken him around the world to performances and festivals in various countries. In addition to his performances in New York and his current home, Miami, Florida, Ockert has performed in cities like Cologne, Germany as part of the Christopher Street Day festival, the biggest pride festival in Europe. Not only did Ockert perform at the festival, he was invited to occupy the main stage.

Though Ockert is a world citizen by any definition and is originally from England, he is clearly a New Yorker at heart. Aside from a ten year residency in our fair city, Ockert ran the New York City ING Marathon both as a New York Road Runners member and as a self-created charity for the family of a neighbor who died of cancer. The money that Ockert raised during the run went straight to Texas Children’s Cancer Center, where his neighbor was hospitalized during the last days of life.

Charitable, well-traveled, open-minded and foreign, Ockert seems like a well-rounded individual who can’t get much better. But he can, and he will. He’s just released his first EP called The Rain from London and will be visiting New York in October to film the video for the title track. Ockert doesn’t stop there, though, as he shares plans to release his second EP at the beginning of next year and another full length album in the spring. He intends to follow the second release with a tour that will “obviously” include New York City. In other words, prepare to clear your schedules next year, because Darren Ockert is bringing all his passion, hard work and love for New York right back to where it all started stateside. - NY Social Status

"Pens Eye View Interview"

London-born, Miami-based singer/songwriter Darren Ockert has been building up his impressive resume for some time now, and if you haven’t heard of the pop singer before this interview, you’re about to make room for a new addition to your musical library. The graduate of the prestigious London School of Musical Theatre, Ockert took to the scene in 2005 with his debut record, Anything Is Possible, which was actually released on his own label, Shark Meat.
Ockert made his splash on MTV in 2009 with his video for “Celebrity du Jour” and he has more new music today: his latest four-track EP, The Rain from London. Ockert tells us that the music on the collection includes “synth electro, mixed with guitars, mixed with a pinch of the ’80’s; add a dash of vocal harmonies, a little fun and shake it with some lyrical depth and sophistication.” While the music will have your attention, be prepared; the new EP is a taster for Darren’s new album to be released next year. You should expect Ockert’s next effort to include his signature electropop sound, but the new offering will likely take Darren’s career to new heights. Keep an eye out, check out The Rain from London and www.darrenockert.com/ and keep reading; there’s much more to learn in the answers to the XXQ’s below.

XXQs: Darren Ockert

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you different from others in your genre?

Darren Ockert (DO): My sound is synth electro, mixed with guitars, mixed with a pinch of the ’80s – add a dash of vocal harmonies, a little fun and shake it with some lyrical depth and sophistication. The way I differ is that my music is very lyrics focused.

PEV: Growing up in England, what kind of music where you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

DO: While growing up in the UK I listened to many Brit-Pop artists of the 1980’s and 90’s such as Wham!, George Michael, Eurythmics, Kylie Minogue (although technically Australian), Erasure, The Petshop Boys, Alison Moyet and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I also listened to a lot of the big American artists such as Madonna, Janet and Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston. UK radio is so eclectic compared to US radio so I could be listening to Technotronic, followed by Annie Lennox, followed by ABBA, followed by The Carpenters. I remember listening to my Dad’s John Lennon “Double Fantasy” album on repeat. The first concert that I ever went to was by a British group call Five Star who were a modern day interpretation of the Jackson 5, except it was three sisters and two brothers. They had crazy dance routines and wore pretty flamboyant costumes.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like? What is the big difference between English and American fans?

DO: Wow so many questions, slow down, slow down! [chuckles] Well I think it is difficult to break into any music scene and I still have a ways to go and plenty more music to write. My first show was a really awesome experience getting the chance to finally share my music ‘live.’ The big difference between American and English fans is “you say tomato and I say tomato.”

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Darren Ockert show?

DO: I’m in the process of putting together a show to support the album next year. It’s going to be a fun-filled, quirky, sophisticated, electropop, colorful experience. There will definitely be moments you can shake your booty.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

DO: Did I turn the iron off? Actually I always have a fear of forgetting the first line of the lyrics for the opening song so I always make sure to have it written down on a piece of paper in my pocket to look at just before I go on.

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

DO: Watching the reaction of the audience – particularly when trying out new songs.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music?

DO: Different things inspire me. It could be something I read, see or overhear. Sometimes a song can almost be a like a therapy session and allow me to understand a past situation – almost cathartic. But I think the underlying inspiration is trying to capture a human emotion in a song whether it is a positive or negative emotion.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

DO: Ha! Not really. I’m always thinking about what I can write and do next.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

DO: I’m a bit of a tropical horticulturist and an extreme weather follower.

PEV: As an openly gay artist, how has this shaped the kind of artist you plan to be in the public eye?

DO: My hope is that it lets kids or anyone having doubts about themselves know that it’s ok to be who you are. It’s not a - Pens Eye View

"Yahoo Music Review "The Rain From London""

Darren Ockert's "The Rain From London" is a mere sampling of his work while recording in the U.S., as a transplant from London, England. He seems to be strongest in the lane that he concentrates himself in, which is in electropop stylings that groove with uptempo sounds. He's a capable vocalist, but is probably best suited making dance music.

For instance, Ockert shines brightly on the anthemic title track, where he assumes the position of London hype man through his travels: "The rain from London follows me, the grass is never quite as green". The production is very open, and reminds of being in an expansive field, and is easy to agree with, sonically. Inspirational in feel, "The Rain From London" carries the sentiment that perhaps to Ockert, nothing is better than his native London, a feeling that more deeply carries the idea that there's no place like home, something most listeners can identify with.

"Force Of Gravity" carries on with a similar kind of "open field" sound, and is a short melodic ditty that while easily listenable, is fairly forgettable within the context of the entire disc. "The force of gravity pulls me down / I collide, just spin around", sings Ockert. Dramatic at the start, the song builds up with a majestic-sounding piano introducing the singer carrying his broad voice across the beats, expounding loudly about the pull of emotions and words carrying weight that is thrust upon him.

Ockert tries his hand again with "I've Moved On". Another low-tempo song that immediately follows the similarly-styled "Force Of Gravity", he achieves a greater depth of sound here, reminding of the slick kind of American rock/pop bands of the present day with a touch of U2 and Craig David for a good measure. I've Moved On makes its mark as a slow groove that crescendos to a host of guitars on the song's chorus, which carries the bulk of the weight of I've Moved On's sonic substance. Clearly, Ockert has parting words for a former lover, conveying his sense of clarity about past wrongs he endured during his former relationship with a less-than-adequate lover, singing, "You deceive me/ You always do".

Last, but not in the least, Ockert delivers his best sampling of the EP with "This Modern Life", something you might expect to hear at Burning Man if the crowd were solely technoids on a glitzy dance floor. The truest song that Ockert offers, the electropop sound is like a comfortable pillow that he has decided to lie his head upon, a sound that seems like a place that he is strongest in dwelling as a recording artist, thus far. This Modern Life is bright and clearly uptempo, and it is fresh in sound, while still simultaneously familiar; it's not retro, but it reminds of an 1980s-'90s dance song lovechild, which is refreshing. It's just the type of record that is sure to get the right kind of exposure in dance clubs that cater to techno-dance rhythms, like Miami or Los Angeles.

The Rain From London EP isn't what one might call a transformative compilation of music - it mainly seems to be a collection of singles that seem to aim in testing the consumer palate, seeing if listeners will take to the London native's sound and style. Ockert proves that he has the kind of vocal flair and production stylings to make a name for himself, and The Rain From London may be just the thing to do it. Versatility may not be his strongest sort, but he doesn't require that much if he can excel at making dance records that make people want to dance and jump. As long as party anthems continue to be the rage in cities across the world, and until the disc jockey becomes obsolete, Ockert has a chance to really bring something new and listenable to the pop music diaspora. - Yahoo

"Retro Done Right"

On his debut disc, single-named, multi-hyphenated Darren revives the spirit of 1980s British synth-pop. He makes it his own with a dash of boy band married to contemporary spacey electronics and solid bouncing beats.

As singer, songwriter, primary musician, and producer, Darren whips up an infectiously frothy and positive music confection. On a soaring chorus here or an arrangement there (”The Limit,” “Pie in the Sky”), Darren evokes the best of Erasure, but after a quick tip of the hat he brings the focus back to his own original perspective. His voice is smooth and easy, sailing over the spacious arrangements. - The Advocate Magazine

"InsideOut Magazine Review"

Darren’s Anything Is Possible, the first U.S. release by this British pop-export-turned-New-Yorker, shows off the artist’s talent and versatility. In fact, it’s one of Outmusic’s nominees for outstanding debut recording by a male. Not only did Darren write every song on the disc, he also plays every instrument on it. Polished-to-perfection performances and production make me want to dig out my platform shoes and boogie to this experimental electro-pop groove.

In an interview, without dishing details, Darren confessed that the inspiration to look beyond the heartbreak theme of this album was influenced by his real life. More than anything, the singer said, he hoped his music would make the listener “feel.” The first song on the CD, “The Limit,” is a dreamy, beat-driven, low-key, neo-disco ballad. The fifth track, “Spread The Love,” makes the push to let love win. The next cut, “You & I,” opens with synthesized strings and kicks up the tempo a notch. With all this electronica, Darren’s sound is still clear, crisp, and simple. His powerful voice, sonically similar to George Michael’s, leaves me wondering how Darren has flown under the radar for so long.

Darren made a splash this past winter at the Next Big Hit contest in New York City, and his wave is still on the rise. - InsideOut Magazine

"1030 Mag Review"

Lincoln, England born, London cultured, and current resident of NYC, Darren has just released his debut album, Anything is Possible. Over a year in the making, Darren serves as producer, engineer, writer, performer, and about anything else you can come up with. That said, this album serves as a wonderful introduction to one of the most talented men in current music.

Anything is Possible is an excellent album from start to finish. Darren’s voice is very inoffensive in much the same way as Simon LeBon’s (Duran Duran) is. He has a strong presence in the songs but he never overpowers them or brow beats you with a certain musical agenda. The opening track, “The Limit”, certainly puts Darren’s best foot forward musically invoking the aforementioned Duran Duran (Notorious-era in particular) as well as Boy George’s better moments. It has a sort of a low key dance groove to it that really draws you into the song. The more experimental sound of “You & I” is another highlight, with its string intro and upbeat Nintendo core sound. “Looking for Something” follows it with a more contemplative vocal approach and some very nice electronics. Occasionally the album gives a nod to the underlying acoustic aspect and in doing that provides a nice change without straying to far from the mark.

Darren has me completely sold. When people say “Indie music has a lot to offer these days” this is the kind of album they are talking about. If you like any kind of Dance or New Wave pop music than you should check Darren out. Key Tracks: The Limit. - 1030Mag.com

"HX Magazine Review"

“With an impressive, confident debut disc full of surprises, producer and singer-songwriter Darren proves that anything is possible– even transporting us back to a better time with the simple synth-pop sound of the early to mid-’90s. Combining the do–it-yourself boyband bravado of Soul Decision and the techno artistry of Kenna with sexy, unshowy vocals, this London-born New Yorker’s experiments pay off. From the ruthless hook of lead single “The Limit” to the infectious immediacy of “Spread the Love” to the cigarette lighter-swaying sweetness of “You Were Loved,” Anything Is Possible is impossible to resist.” - HX

"GITTV Review"

No, don’t fret your pretty little head. It’s not another Will Young song about his torturous relationships with the man in the mirror. For a debut release this is quite simply superb. It does sound a bit like the sort of stuff that Darren’s namesake, Darren Hayes might present to the world but mimicking accomplished performers is surely flattery by impersonation. Darren’s voice is polished to perfection and sits so well on the water of light disco beats and funky rhythms that lingers underneath the vocals- an undercurrent bringing things to the surface.

Sexuality smoulders as passion escapes through vapours as Darren makes his first appearance on the world stage and manages, somehow, to steal the show from more seasoned performers. This album is a Radio 2 favourite in the making and it is a joy to listen to a man singing who doesn’t think he has to impersonate James Blunt and use his voice to break glass. There’s the faintest whiff of boy-band material on the album but that is no bad thing as, judging from his website photo, Darren will be as much of a hit with the chicks as he is with the chaps. The rawness of Darren’s emotional expressions is touching, refreshing and stunning from a performer so young, so fragile, so new and so unknown.

This album is not so much a message announcing arrival as a fence post stabbed into the sodden earth below. It is Darren’s mark upon Darren’s territory. Welcome to the world according to Darren. Welcome to beautiful music played to perfection and listened to by everyone. Bravo, Darren, Bravo. - godisinthetvzine.co.uk

"Kweevak Review"

“Darren hails from London and currently resides in New York City. Darren is a producer, singer and songwriter. He has studied music and has worked in theater. Darren incorporates his diverse experiences and expertise into his modern musical mixes. His songs are a blend of American pop and British electronica with moods that range from danceable to serious with some experimentation. Darren sings his sharp, poetic lyrics with a voice that is passionate and polished. Anything Is Possible is Darren’s eclectic, eleven-track debut. The CD opens strong with ‘The Limit’. A song that combines a funky groove with dark reflections on the harshness of love. The electronic textures are mesmerizing and the varied vocal inflections from silky smooth to enhanced at the hook are inventive. ‘Out of the Rain’ is another innovative track starting with a sound like raindrops as shady imagery is slowly replace by words of encouragement. Darren utilizes a variety of electronic tempos and tones to augment the song. ‘Patch Me Up’ flows on electronic instrumentation combined with Darren’s silky vocals and more good use of varied beats and effects. Darren proves that Anything Is Possible with his impressive freshman release!”

Recommended Tracks: (1,3,9) [USA/NY 2005] - kweevak.com

"GITTV Review"

No, don’t fret your pretty little head. It’s not another Will Young song about his torturous relationships with the man in the mirror. For a debut release this is quite simply superb. It does sound a bit like the sort of stuff that Darren’s namesake, Darren Hayes might present to the world but mimicking accomplished performers is surely flattery by impersonation. Darren’s voice is polished to perfection and sits so well on the water of light disco beats and funky rhythms that lingers underneath the vocals- an undercurrent bringing things to the surface.

Sexuality smoulders as passion escapes through vapours as Darren makes his first appearance on the world stage and manages, somehow, to steal the show from more seasoned performers. This album is a Radio 2 favourite in the making and it is a joy to listen to a man singing who doesn’t think he has to impersonate James Blunt and use his voice to break glass. There’s the faintest whiff of boy-band material on the album but that is no bad thing as, judging from his website photo, Darren will be as much of a hit with the chicks as he is with the chaps. The rawness of Darren’s emotional expressions is touching, refreshing and stunning from a performer so young, so fragile, so new and so unknown.

This album is not so much a message announcing arrival as a fence post stabbed into the sodden earth below. It is Darren’s mark upon Darren’s territory. Welcome to the world according to Darren. Welcome to beautiful music played to perfection and listened to by everyone. Bravo, Darren, Bravo. - godisinthetvzine.co.uk


Still working on that hot first release.



British born synth-pop artist Darren Ockert is an international man of many talents. Now based in Miami the accomplished indie pop singer, songwriter and producer was born and raised in Lincoln, England. After graduating from the prestigious London School of Musical Theatre, he established a theatre production company called Darren Ockert Productions in London at the Young Vic Theatre. In 1999 Darren became one of the youngest producers to win a prestigious TMA Award for his co-production with the Young Vic Theatre Company of Arabian Nights, which played on 42nd Street in New York City at the New Victory Theater.

Darrens solo-artist career began in 2005 with the album Anything Is Possible, which he recorded, produced and released on Shark Meat, his own label. The record received much critical acclaim and landed him a nomination in the 2006 OutMusic Awards for Outstanding New Artist. Darren opened the awards show, held at The Knitting Factory in New York City, with Out Of The Rain, the second single from the album. Anything Is Possible appeared on the 2006 Grammys initial voting ballot, and Darren also appeared on the 2007 Grammys initial voting ballot for co-writing and producing Grace Garlands album Lovers Never Lie (In Bed).

After touring and releasing a series of remixes from Anything Is Possible, Darren released the single and music video Celebrity du Jour (Shark Meat), which was quickly in rotation on MTV Networks LOGO channel. The music video was directed by award-winning director Edouard Nammour and Susan de Palma.

2012 saw the release of the critically acclaimed The Rain From London (Shark Meat), a four-track EP featuring a title track that tips a Union Jack umbrella to Londons famous wet weather. Inspired by 80s UK pop, Darren harnessed that energy and infused it with a fresh sophistication for a sound that is memorably powerful and poetic. The EP received five nominations in the 2012 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards and the track This Modern Life (1984) won the award for Best Electronic Song. The song Force of Gravity was also a finalist in the 2012 UK Songwriting Contest.

In early 2013 Darren released You Dont Know Me, the first single from his second studio album Short Story Long. The single and accompanying music video launched Darrens #YouDontKnowMe Project. The #YouDontKnowMe Project is an interactive forum inviting people to post videos sharing personal stories of overcoming prejudices. Darren hopes that this project can help to destroy stereotypes and help people realize that we are more alike than we are different.

Lyrically, You Dont Know Me, as well as other tracks on the album such as Dont Let The Bastards Get You Down, focus on the pains of being misunderstood or unfairly judged and the struggles of warding off bullies and haters, who are driven by ignorance and false assumptions. The music video for You Dont Know Me premiered on MTV Networks LOGO TVs New Now Next show.

Crumbs, the second single from the album, premiered on VEVO on September 20, 2013 and shows a darker side of the artist, shot as a film-noir style story of two love-entangled couples. Earlier in 2013 fans got a sneak-peek of Crumbs in Darren Ockert: A Mini Documentary, a short film by director Hector M. Sanchez Jr. shot while Darren was in the studio recording Short Story Long. The documentary is played at film festivals across the USA and won Best Short Film at the Enzian Film Festival.

Short Story Long released on November 12, 2013, features twelve tracks showcasing Darrens distinct synth-pop sound. Since relocating from New York City to the vibrant tropical city of Miami, Darren has called upon the Miami-based-Colombian producer and DJ Daniel Valencia for additional production.

Darren is a voting member of The Recording Academy (The Grammys) and The Songwriters Hall Of Fame; a member of The American Society Of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and also member of the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Grammys.

If you haven't heard of Darren Ockert by now, then it's about time you did.
- FAB Magazine

Youre about to make room for a new addition to your musical library.
- Pens Eye View

Band Members