Ran Danker – not just another pretty face

Actor and model gets serious with the release of his first album

Ran Danker (photo credit: MENNY KAUFMAN)
Ran Danker
(photo credit: MENNY KAUFMAN)
Actor, teen TV hearthrob and model Ran Danker can add recording artist to his resume.
The 34-year-old singer, known for his four-year-run (2004 to 2008) in the hit musical series Hashir Shelanu, subsequent TV and stage musicals and a public romance with Ninet Tayeb, released his first album, Something Different, this month and unveiled it before an invitation-only audience in a dimly lit circus tent at the Ramat Gan Stadium.
Danker, who was born in the US and moved to Israel at age 2, says its hard for him to say what genre the album is. “It’s a bit of rock, some electronic and mostly Israeli – not in the lyrics, mostly in the music,” Danker told The Jerusalem Post after his first-ever live concert.
He performed the set to a lively audience packed with screaming teenage girls, Danker’s celebrity friends and other lovers of his music. Danker sang his heart out as flashing colored lights danced around him.
He ended the night with his hit song “Dejemos,” which came out in 2015. Since then, Danker’s been on the road to self-discovery. He spent two exploratory years in New York before coming back and picking up the performance bug again.
“It’s the new me – and after that, I came back and did a lot of theater and I love that. And then I reminded myself that I love to perform and that’s who I am. I have my hands in a lot of different areas of art. I’m trying to express myself in a lot of ways because that’s how I feel inside and just theater or just TV or movies – it’s not enough for me. I have a lot of faces,” Danker said.
“It’s so personal. It’s my music and it’s my texts and its new and I felt that I am doing something different – like the name of the album – and I am very curious to know how the audience will perceive it. Because its very different from my first album. I didn’t know what to expect. Its hard because there’s a lot of press. Is it good? Is it not? I felt that the vibe was very good. I felt electrified.”
Fans loved it – especially 18-year-old Ronni Raviv and her friends.
“I have loved Ran Danker since I was a child and it’s been my dream to see him live. It was great. I loved the songs and the beat. We had the best time.”
Danker says his album has a message: “To let people touch themselves more deeply and to be brave to express themselves.”
His friends couldn’t agree more. Long-time pal and colleague Ania Bukstein, 36, was in the crowd, jamming out from on top of a chair in the back, her hands in the air. The Russian-born actress, singer and pianist was raised in Israel and is known for her most recent role as Kinvara in the popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones. She’s appeared on stage and on the screen alongside Danker a number of times – including many romantic scenes. Bukstein says the two met when they were 21.
“Just the fact that he’s out there brave and selling his story. You know, writing music – basically it means to put your heart out there. I’m proud of him. I know how difficult it is. And yet how exciting it is,” Bukstein said.
Another celeb friend, Elai Botner appeared at the show, getting the attention of media and talking about his connection to Danker. Botner is a well-known songwriter and musician. He and Danker became close when they created the album Shavim together in 2007.
“Those were the very first songs I wrote. They were very elementary and naïve. And yes, there’s a way to come and he came a long way. The album is very different from Shavim – in its sound, its content and its production,” Botner said.
“We have been friends for many years. I’ve hosted Ran on my show Yaldei Hahutz regularly. We sing the songs from our first album. He’s a charming and brave man who follows his heart. That is something I really admire about him and admired when we first met and it is something that didn’t leave him. By the way, it’s not only in the music – it’s also in acting, in theater and everything he does.”
Danker rounded out his edgy performance by pulling out a handwritten note that he read off of, thanking the musicians on stage with him, as well as the crew who set up. He included notes to a woman who helped him turn his diary entries into songs and his agent who he says he “came to me at 17 with an eyebrow piercing” and who then turned him into a star and hasn’t left his side since.