We could all learn something from Ren.
Ren Gill is an incredibly talented rapper, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, performer and producer.
After years of misdiagnosis, he’s been battling with serious physical and mental health issues for a large part of his life. But that hasn’t stopped him. His creativity and passion for music has kept him going, building a small but loyal following.
With the release of his track Hi Ren* in December 2022 he made millions more people sit up, watch and really listen.
With over 23 million views and still rising, every kind of YouTube Reactor was talking about it – still are, a year on. And everyone who saw it started searching the channel for everything Ren.
He’s on the rise. Back in October 2023, with an independent release – no label or expensive marketing budget – he reached number one in the UK album charts. Getting press attention by beating safe chart veteran Rick Astley to the spot. So, what’s the lesson here?
Ren has succeeded by being bold. Not by doing what he thinks he should, to be more popular, but by being true to himself. He’s not afraid to tackle subjects that others might shy away from. To push what’s possible. Who launches an album with a 9-minute piece of what, with Money Game Part 3,* could arguably be described as performance art?
Ok, so his music and lyrics may not always be to everyone’s taste. But that doesn’t matter. Ren has engaged millions of people, one of the most diverse and enthusiastic communities across social media. Connecting people of all ages, from all walks of life. United not only by recognition of his talent, but also by his raw honesty about his health issues. His genuine authenticity.
Not sure how he’d feel about being the subject of this opinion piece. But he’s a massive inspiration.
Maybe we should all bring a bit more Ren into our approach. Being less safe, more fearless. It does get results.
*Please be advised, the videos linked from this article include references to suicide.