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Ren, The Oracle Of Genius

I am rarely moved. Rarely rendered speechless. This did both brilliantly!

A friend of mine this morning sent me a message. It said, simply, "check this artist out. He's got a song called "Hi Ren" that I think will resonate with you". Usually, I would go on with my planned day and then circle back later to check things out because I hate disrupting my set plans. Routines are what keep me grounded and my mental health strong, tidy and in check so I rarely agree to distract myself from a set course.

But today was different.

Today, that message pulled me in. As if something from a different parallel was tugging at me to pay attention. And I did.

At first, I went to the link on Tiktok where bits of Ren's song was being stitched and reacted to. The bits and pieces were captivating enough for me to go down the rabbit whole and head over to Youtube to view the whole song and follow along with the lyrics I copied and pasted in a Word doc so I could really get the full experience of this young man's words and musical interpretation.

I swear to God, I was mesmerized from the first second I heard his fingers touch the nylon strings of his acoustic guitar. Then he goes into what I can only call a mythical sounding operatic vocal riff that immediately puts its hooks into your brain...never to release. As I write these words right now, it's blaring in my head.

The video is something to be experienced as well. It is simple in its decor but so powerful and moving through the entire song. The use of lights in this videos creates the chaos and tension you come to feel within you just by watching.

Once Ren begins to utter the lyrics of the song, they are closer to the spoken word than they are of a vocal performance we're used to expect from most pop songs these days. Ren is acting the song, giving it depth and character.

He is giving life to 2 very separate entities. Expressing a duality that is only understood and quite common to those who deal with mental illness and unrest. It is evident, in his vocal interpretation as well as in the video that his mental illness brings chaos, toxicity, self-doubt, aggression, etc...comparatively to his authentic self that is desperately trying to find a way to detach from its toxic counterpart.

The rollercoaster the ensues throughout this song is so familiar to me and to any dealing with the daily resistance of this complex dance we deal with every day. Ren brilliantly captures exactly how it feels to deal with any sort of mental illness. It's a feeling of having 2 very different people living within you at all times. And when you are young, the feeling of this and not having control over it can be debilitating and terrifying all at once.

And, like Ren expresses so beautifully in the following passage:

"As I got older I realized that there were no real winners Or no real losers in physiological warfare But there were victims and there were students

It wasn't David verses Goliath, it's was a pendulum eternally Swaying between the dark and the light, And the brighter the light shone, the darker the shadow it cast

It was never a battle for me to win, it was an eternal dance,