The inimitable IZ rarely shares. In the virtual world. In real life, they’d give you the shirt off their back. But they rarely share online so when they do, I open the link and listen or watch or whatever is required of me. This is how I met Ren.
Ren Gill is a Welsh* musician that Kate Pickles wrote about in 2016 for the Mail Online:
A young musician who was recently signed by Sony has been forced to give up his dream career after his body was ravaged with Lyme disease. Ren Gill was healthy and active, spending six days a week in the gym, until one morning in 2009 he woke up thinking he had the worst hangover he’d ever experienced. He has spent the last seven years trying to find out what was behind his devastating symptoms which leave him bedbound for up to 23 hours a day.
Disease-wise, I dread Lyme disease. My GP deals stoically with my paranoia and my frequent requests for blood tests, just to be sure, to be sure. Three, or was it four ambassadors ago, I met a young Irish mother at a gig in Budapest. She was in Hungary for treatment. It was my first time meeting anyone suffering from LD. She’d encountered her tick in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle, someplace I know well. I was horrified at her matter-of-fact account of how it was affecting her. Because of her, I get tested regularly and got vaccinated against tick encephalitis. I will be forever grateful to her for making me aware of it.
But back to Ren.
I’d never heard of him. He became popular through Money Game part 2. I must have missed the meme in March 2021 that pivoted him into public consciousness. Not surprising really. I miss a lot but don’t miss missing it.
This. This is worth sharing.
And this, from the man himself:
Want to say a big thank you for everyones support over the years. During the years trapped inside with chronic health problems the main thing that kept me going was a belief that one day I would come out the other side, and be able to achieve success through music. I don’t have a label, and sometimes pushing these things as hard as I want becomes a massive challenge, and I find myself frustrated that there aren’t enough hours in the day to push it as far as I want to. I would love to ask a favour to anyone who has ever enjoyed my music over the years, and it will only take a few minutes of your day.It would mean the world to me if you shared ‘Hi Ren’ as much as you can, over social media platforms, with friends, over email. Together, and with your help I can hopefully reach people all over the world, and get one step closer to the dream I always had! Thank you so much for the support so far! Ren
Thanks, Ren. For getting on with life.
*Thanks to John in the comments who pointed out that Ren is Welsh.
I haven’t heard anything as astonishing as this since Hendrix. That’s a long long time ago. Savagely beautiful.
Isn’t it just?
Just WOW. Thanks.
My goodness! He is wonderful! He’s got it all. Thank you Mary.
And he’s in Canada right now for six months of treatment that they hope will give him back some semblance of normalcy.
I came to Ren through Billy Bragg’s fb page. I’m waiting for him to eventually break big everywhere (like the US, where I live). I have not seen or heard a musician like him in a very long time (I’m 65). Poet, singer, guitarist, rapper, anything I’ve seen him do is amazing. I’ve gone through tons of his material, which dates back 10 years or so. I consider him a prodigy. Check out his song (from 7 yrs go), The 90s, which he sings from the steps of a front porch (?) and obviously videoed himself. His command of the language is phenomenal. His message(s) are necessary in today’s world as he speaks through his music about mental illness, depression, the medical establishment, politics/politicians, to name a few. He also has some straight-up just fun music out there, which is also great.
And he will. Break big. Pure genius.
He is not English, He was born and brought up in Wales and identifies as Welsh. He just lives in England now.
Thanks, John, for pointing this out. Amendment made.