Ren is a 16-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter who just made her career debut. Her voice is a complex blend of young singers like Billie Eilish and Jorja Smith. She draws her inspiration from a wide array of artists ranging from Amy Winehouse and Joni Mitchell to N.W.A. and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The singer-songwriter began writing music when she turned 13 and started performing at open mics in her hometown of Toronto and moved on to cities like Chicago and even as far as Shanghai.
Last week Ren kickstarted her music career with her release of “Waves.” The indie-pop love song showcases the prodigy’s broody yet delicate vocals. To accompany the single’s release, Ren created a dreamy music video to illustrate her intricate melodies and complicated love life.
The music video follows a couple who can’t seem to leave each other. While there are some clips that show the pair happily in love, there are an equal amount of scenes that inflict pain. With rose thorns, shattered glass and tears, it is clear that these two should not be together. But at the end of the video, the couple is cheek-to-cheek displayed almost like a united front, leaving viewers wondering what happened.
Ren shared her inspiration behind the song,
“‘Waves’ is a song about vulnerability and weakness in a relationship. I find that I’m a pretty closed off person, I get scared to voice my opinions in relationships cause I’m hella scared of confrontation. I used the ocean as a metaphor for this relationship, something we know so little about which scares us. Yet, we find what we know so beautiful so we always go back. So, waves is a love song about always going back and never knowing why.”
In the video, there are constant cuts showing an emotion-filled Ren singing, reminding viewers that this love story is real, passionate and painful all at once. The video feels personal, like Ren is watching her own love life unfold in front of her own eyes. But at the same time, this video is relatable because the lyrics and scenes perfectly capture the epidemic of returning to whatever feels comfortable, even if it’s not right.
This is just the first step of Ren’s musical journey, as she continues to grind to release her first EP due later this year. But for now, we are thankful to have been graced with this introspective single followed by a high grade production.