Ren: Hi Ren and Sick Boi

I discovered Ren when Chantal Kreviazuk shared his song “Hi Ren” on her Instagram stories.

And, wow.

Wow. Oh. Wow.

Ren is Ren Gill, an English artist, who has been transparent and chronicled his years of chronic health problems which he lists on his website as Lyme disease, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, M.E./CFS, ADHD, chronic depression, intermittent episodes of psychosis.

Photo by Joseph Flack

His song, “Hi Ren”, had me on the edge of my seat and holding back tears. While I cannot imagine what Ren has gone through or the pain that he has had to endure and suffer through, the lyrical battle with himself struck me in the gut. I’m sure it will resonate with anyone who has had to fight or still fights with their inner saboteur. 

The dialogue between Ren and Himself is gut wrenching and emotional. 

Both sides of Ren are raw, visceral, and heartbreaking. Ren vocally portrays both sides with an intense passion and hurt and his vocal talent is mindblowing. The way he’s able to dance between singing and rapping is fluid and beautiful. The music for “Hi Ren” isn’t flashy but it doesn’t need to be as the lyrics and Ren’s voice are the shining stars here.

Watch “Hi Ren” below

Ren has just released his first official track from his upcoming album Sick Boi

On his Facebook page, Ren said this of the self-titled song, 

Years before I was diagnosed correctly with autoimmunity, Lyme disease, and brain damage I was misdiagnosed as bipolar and spent years bouncing back and forth between therapists and trialing different antidepressants all the while getting worse and worse. With lots of things in life we expect to see fairly linear results rewarding the effort we put in. We put in the work, and are rewarded for our efforts. When you put in monumental levels of effort doing self work, stress reduction techniques, CBT, self affirmations, following strict medication regimes with pills with a long list of side effects, and end up worse it’s a really defeating and confusing place to be because it contradicts everything we’ve been taught. It shakes your trust in the medical system. I wanted to write something which captured the frustration of this journey. I wanted to write something which expressed all the things I wish I’d said to my doctors and therapists at the time, but didn’t have the words too.

Whew.

Listening to this song is equally gut wrenching. The Ren in “Hi Ren” that says, “no one wants to hear another song about how you hate yourself”, well, he’s wrong. 

I do want to hear more from Ren whether he is singing about his relationship with himself, his sickness, the pain he feels, or if he decides to sing about unicorns and rainbows. 

Whatever it is. I am listening.

Ren is refreshing, bold, and brilliant. This applies to his lyrics, to his vocals, and to his music.

The years of pain and the years of suffering, have created and carved a honest, passionate, and bone chilling experience within the beautiful soul of its creator, Ren.

Watch “Sick Boi” below

Watch Justin Hawkins of The Darkness react to Ren

While not on Sick Boi, watch this great cover of “I Shot the Sheriff”

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