What is Zachery Allan Starkey?
Zachery Allan Starkey is a Songwriter/Musician/Artist from Columbus, Ohio, who specialises in writing and performing his own distinctive brand of electronic dance music. He is also a noted photographer, with many succesful solo gallery shows under his belt, and a performance artist. In 2007, the Columbus based newspaper The Other Paper called Starkey "The most controversial musican in Columbus".
Influenced by groups such as New Order, Depeche Mode, the Cure, ect., Starkey's songs are generally melodic, incredibly catchy electronic dance songs with a hints of melancholy and articulate, intelligent lyrics. They feature many interlocking synthesizer and sequencer melodies, 4/4 dance beats, elements of House and European Disco, and Starkey's unique, one of a kind voice.
In 2007 Zachery Allan Starkey released a solo album entitled Solitaire, which recieved critical acclaim in the 3 major Central Ohio Newspapers. The album has 12 songs, all written and performed by Starkey himself. Starkey also co produced the album with producers Jonathan Welch and Bryan Moss. Stephen Covey of Call Off Sick mastered the album.
Psychobilly guitarist Ray Gunn played lead guitar on the album, making the album a unique hybrid of dance and rock elements. Gunn has called the combination of Starkey's songs and his guitar playing "Electrobilly".
The album recieved good critical reviews and has been steadly selling both in Columbus and online since its release.
Starkey and his live band spent 2007 and most of 2008 touring to support Solitaire. While Starkey played all of the instruments on the Solitaire album himself (Starkey played Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass, and Programming) and Ray Gunn provided the lead guitar, live shows consist of Starkey performing with Gunn and two additional keyboardists, with bass and drums running on a sequencer.
The lead single from the album, also entitled "Solitaire", has recieved worldwide distribution thanks to the internet and has been featured on dance radio shows and has since become a regional dance hit.
French electro master Neolymb has remixed the single "Nuclear Star", which along with the albums other two singles, "70 Millimeter" and "Day Glo Girl" have become regional club staples.
Starkey is currently working on a follow up album to Solitaire with producer Bryan Moss.
Outside of his music and art careers, Starkey works as a Marketing Represenative for the Universal Music Group, and has degrees in Photography and Film, as well as minors in English and Art History, from the Ohio State University.
Starkey is of Greek and German descent. His paternal grandfather, David Starkey, founded and built the Kenstar Pharmacy in Grove City, Ohio. His father, Steven G. Starkey, is a highly skilled drummer and percussionist who has played in a wide variety of bands, from classic rock to funk to jazz groups. His maternal grandfather, Donald Hughes, was a noted member of the United States Air Force and the Ohio National Guard. His maternal grandmother comes from Athens Greece.
Starkey was born at Mount Carmel West Hospital, in the inner city neighborhood of Columbus known as Franklinton. Starkey grew up in Franklinton, better known as the Bottoms, and graduated from Westland High School. Starkey credits his upbringing in a rough but diverse city neighborhood, as well as coming from a strong, blue collar, working class family as being crucial to his artistic development.
In addition to his well known distinctive electro shock hair cut and his fondness for wearing sharp black dress suits, Starkey also has one brown eye and one green eye.
THE CRITICS SAY ABOUT ZACHERY ALLAN STARKEY'S SOLITAIRE:
"Original dance music influenced irreparably by New Order, Public Image Ltd. and Depeche Mode. New wave to the core, the record shows Starkey's love for both the music of yesteryear and an idyllic image that dance tunes done right can move people in many ways. It's also the local project closest to Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy: a full-length epic that was squeezed out, after three years of recording and three producers, by the city's most controversial figure not involved in politics.......The 12 tracks stand as an homage to the late '80s by a musician who one day would like to become, as he says in the goofy manner he adopts when comfortable, "the Bob Dylan of the dance floor." What it lacks in forward thinking it makes up for in sheer complexity: Nearly every song contains numerous drum lines, guitars and a crushing number of keyboards and synthesizers......There's a big-city feel to much of it, though that's not what will surprise most listeners. What will be somewhat shocking is that this collection of dance songs—delayed so long, surrounded by so much hype and hate—is pretty good."
-John Ross, The Columbus Alive, April 26th, 2007.
"12 songs and 79 minutes of complex, multi-layered instrumentation, that's quite an ambitious project.....It's also a very lyrical record, something you don't hear a lot in dance music.......the most controversial musician in Columbus."
-Chad Dull, The Other Paper, April 26th, 2007.
"All of the time Starkey has spent in nightclubs clearly has given him an innate understanding of dance music, and he knows what people want to hear."
-U. Weekly, April 25th, 2007
"Relying on synths and machinated beats for his backing, Starkey's points of references come from the early '80s, situated somewhere between Vincent Clarke-era Depeche Mode (see leadoff cut "Nuclear Star" and "In the Dark"), Human League (see "The Eyes of God") and Gary Numan ("Bye Bye Love")....the album is musically engaging...electronic lushness."
-Stephen Slaybaugh. Donewaiting. April 2007.