Singer, songwriter, and visual artist Eddie Sears moved to New York in 2016 and fell in love with the multicultural city. It is here where the beginnings of Rocket Pengwin started to form.
As the story goes, the Penguin is from Antarctica – the place on Earth least interfered with by humans. New York City couldn’t be more of a contrast. By bringing the ‘Pengwin’ to life in the real world, he created an outlet to express how he felt in life and love, but also in a more literal way that would challenge fans and passersby alike to think about what it means to find a sense of place.
Whilst the whole concept can be existential – man vs. nature, imagination vs. reality, he wanted to ground Rocket Pengwin by exploring real topics that anyone can relate to – what does it take to stand out in a crowd? Is that even important? Do we actually all stand out in our own unique ways? How do relationships even work – whether they are amongst each other, our significant others, with the city we live in or even with ourselves?
These themes are explored in the debut album Polar Opposites, with each original track containing its own standalone narrative based on his own reality and that of Rocket Pengwin.
To find out more about Rocket Pengwuin’s love affair with New York City, we asked him to pick his eight favourite places to hang out. Here’s the list:
1. Ludlow Street
Rocket Pengwin: “Ludlow Street is one of the main arteries in NYC’s iconic Lower East Side. In the heart of the vibrant home of the best live music bars and dining in the area. It’s the address of the famous Creperie, and Ludlow Street is where my story in NYC started, as you can see in the music video for “Unique”.”
2. Chinatown Fish Markets
“As a penguin, where you get your fish matters. Chinatown happens to be home to the best fish markets around – the variety is endless and people are so friendly and kind to me. Also, the aesthetic of the area is – dare I say – chef’s kiss.”
3. Central Park
“Central Park is the idyllic epicenter of a balanced ecosystem trapped in the middle of the most chaotic city in the world. With its ever changing color palette depending on the season, Central Park is the lung of Manhattan. It’s the perfect date spot, perfect solo walk spot, and the perfect place to hear some local music. On a solo stroll in the park one day, I was so inspired that I wrote the hook to what would turn out to be an entire song about Central Park: to me you look forever pretty, like Central Park, in New York City…”
4. Champion Pizza
“Champion Pizza is one of the most iconic slice shops in lower Manhattan. It’s the type of place where every inch of the wall is covered with photos of celebrities who’ve downed a few slices, and it’s also the place where I got my first job when I moved to the city. As you’ll see in the music video for “Invincible”, I was no good at the gig, but I had a ball and it was fun while it lasted. Couldn’t recommend this place more.”
5. Gleason’s Gym
“Physical activity is very important! I’m not your typical gym guy, but Gleason’s is definitely special. It’s a legendary hub for boxing champions all over the world, and the Brooklyn-based gym is the setting for our workout routine in the music video for “Alone”.”
6. Carmine Street Guitars
“Carmine is unquestionably the craziest place to visit if you’re a musician, guitarist, or even a guitar lover who doesn’t know how to play. Every guitar is hand made with wood recycled from old NYC buildings. Not only do the guitars sound amazing, they’re also absolutely stunning.”
“Elsewhere in Brooklyn has become one of the central cultural hubs for live music of all genres in the heart of Brooklyn. Pretty much every major successful musician has played at least one of the rooms at this epic complex on their rise to superstardom. I’m incredibly lucky to be performing here on October 8th with my good pal and fellow pop-punker, isitjosh!”
8. NYC’s Subway
“Say what you will about the musty air, high-decibel screeching of the tracks, the endless steps in and out of stations – the NYC Subway is a place full of life and endless possibility. It’s really New York City’s largest and most influential stage. Whether you’re admiring a street artist painting something, a drummer playing a tune, or a penguin commuting to work, the people watching is unmatched. If you feel uninspired, hop on the train and watch the world!”
Rocket Pengwin album Polar Opposites is out now and you can order your copy here.