An Interview With Ren
Upon listening to "Seminole Wind" by Ren, you begin to slowly get taken away to a different place all together.
Musically angelic vocals sway you and the enticing sounds wash over you with beautiful harmonies and acoustic guitars.
Lyrically the song paints a picture as the artist goes on to describe places, and feelings vividly.
The song is a tasteful and wondrous singer songwriter that sounds like something out of a storybook.
There is something almost magical about it. Something that beckons you to nature. A purity and as the song plays on, it grows in intensity as Ren sings in such a way that you wish you could watch her live in person.
"Seminole Wind" is a gorgeous follow up to her previous single release called "Chocolate Wine" which sticks to the acoustic pop vibe and brings to mind a 90's feel with a newer twist. A catchy sing along style track, "Chocolate Wine" goes very well with "Seminole Winds".
WIth these new singles released, we wanted to have a talk with the artist to find out where it all comes from. Here's what happened.
TSWS: Okay let's start with "Seminole Wind". This is a beautiful almost angelic feeling track with gorgeous vocals. Where did this come from?
Ren: Thank you very much! Seminole Wind is a song originally written and performed by John Anderson. His song is more fast paced and typical of that early 90s country and western style. I've always been a fan of the song, but the more I listened to the lyrics the more I realized it's actually quite mournful. So I sat down with a good friend of mine and extremely talented guitarist, Steve Nicosia, and we put together this slowed down version of it. The tale of the Seminole Tribe in Florida is a sad one, and I firmly believe in learning our history lest we be doomed to repeat it.
TSWS: This was a great follow up to your previous single "Chocolate Wine" and I hear different musical styles in each track. What are your biggest musical influences?
Ren: My biggest musical influences are Jim Croce, Brandy Clark, and Linda Ronstadt. I grew up listening to a wide variety of music, including Paul McCartney and Wings, ELO, and Boston, but my passion grew in that folk/country style. I enjoy listening to most every genre, from pop to gregorian chant to rap/hip-hop. Once back in 2007 Linda Ronstadt was performing with the Houston Symphony, and my dad managed to get us tickets to go see her sing live. It was a magical experience!
TSWS: How long have you been doing this? How did this all start for you?
Ren: I started singing the moment I could talk! Music has been my passion since I was a kid. I remember listening to different songs and thinking "I want to do that! I want to tell a story and sing it for people!" Back in middle school I wrote a little praise and worship song (I grew up in the church) and since then I was hooked. I always kept a notebook and pen by my bedside in case I woke up with a tune in my head or a lyrical phrase that I could write out before it flew away. My goal in my music is to be true to myself but also to stretch a little bit past my comfort zone, whether with a new style or harmony or instrumentation.
TSWS: What next for you as an artist? Anything in the works even now?
Ren: Chocolate Wine was actually part of my next album that I'm currently working on. When COVID hit I decided to put production on hold to keep my team safe. Chocolate Wine was ready to go, so I released it as a single, a bit of a teaser for what's to come. This album will be experimenting with that folk sound that I was trying out in "Constellations" from my first album, Eclectic. My next step will be to finish up the last couple songs for the next album and get it released.
TSWS: Did you used to play live shows before? Do you think you'll be planning gigs when the time comes?
Ren: I used to play at a couple of coffee shops, both original music and covers at open mics. I can't wait until places start opening up safely again and I can continue to perform live!
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're not working on music?
Ren: You know, that's a fun question, because it feels like I'm always working on music! The notes app on my phone is full of lyrics for works in progress. When I take a break, I like to find a quiet cozy corner and sit with a good book and a hot cup of tea (or cocoa, with this time of the year). My cat usually keeps me company while I read or while I'm playing through a new melody. I also teach private music lessons. I enjoy teaching because no matter what level of experience, there's always room to learn something new, and I have learned about as much as I've taught these past couple of years!
TSWS: What kind of advice would you give other aspiring artists out there just trying to get heard?
Ren: If you're an aspiring artist trying to get heard, just know it takes a bit of work. I manage my own social media and work with a partner to get my music on Spotify and Apple Music, and it is a full time job! Definitely don't give up. If you continue making music that is meaningful to you, then we will hear that sincerity in your art. Don't be afraid to go out there and play some shows and open mics (after the pandemic of course)!
TSWS: What sort of non-musical things influence you to write?
Ren: I've always found inspiration in stories and poetry. I was an avid reader all throughout middle and high school, and I would devour story after story. I liked seeing the parallels and difference between different stories in the same genre (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) and how the morals they taught can be applied to our day to day lives.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?
Ren: I'd like to say thank you for listening! Putting my original music out there feels like I'm bearing my soul to the universe, and it means so much to me that there's someone out there that hears it and understands the way I feel. I think Anna Nalick got it right when she wrote "and I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd 'cuz these words are my diary screaming out loud and I know that you'll use them however you want to". I love hearing feedback, whether it's through a youtube/insta comment or an album review on iTunes! If you've never listened to my music but you did today, @ me on twitter and tell me how it made you feel!
Let me know if that works and/or if I missed anything. Thank you again!