Who is Ren Gill?

Ren Gill in a white shirt

Who is Ren Gill and why is this Welsh Singer such a Sick Boi?

Before we dive into the legend that is Ren Gill, can I just say that “I have never liked rap!”. As a Gen X, hardcore rock chick, I grew up listening to goth and punk. I’m old enough to remember nights out at Edwards Number 8 in Birmingham, Rock City in Nottingham and the long gone awesomeness that was the Marquee in London. I did have a brief flirt with Eminem back in his Slim Shady days (which apparently are making a hilarious come back this week and blowing up social media). I mean, lets face it, no one can fail to appreciate the lyrical genius of the great Marshall Mathers in full flow, but that is about as far as it went with me. . . . . . . until now!

Introducing Ren Gill

Music is like a big, colourful quilt made up of all sorts of genres, but it takes someone special to stitch those different styles together seamlessly. That’s exactly what Welsh Singer-songwriter Ren is doing! He’s mixing rap with other genres and shooting straight to the top of the UK album charts with his second album Sick Boi.

Usually, big record labels and the main stream media run the show, making it tough for independent artists to get noticed because they control so much of what we hear on the radio. We end up hearing the same hit songs over and over. But this incredible success story is extra cool because he’s making it big without that major label push.

Where is Ren Gill From?

Straight Outta Dwyran!

Ren Erin Gill, or just “Ren” to his die-hard fans, isn’t your run-of-the-mill musician. He was born in North Wales, and raised in the rural village of Dwyran on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

The Welsh singer-songwriter got his start on the streets of Brighton and Bath has been part of several busking bands, mainly as an indie/hip-hop frontman. He got his big break played with Trick The Fox while studying music performance in bath. In 2009, while busking one of his own songs, he caught the attention of Eric Appapoulay. By 2010, Ren had signed a deal contract with Sony Records.

On the surface it seemed like the young musician’s dreams were about to come true, but Ren was hiding a dark secret that would go on to take away 10 years of his life.  It started with a feeling, a strange fog like hangover that he couldn’t shake. He is quoted as saying that he thought his drink had been spiked.

His health rapidly deteriorated and he was forced to move back home with his Mum, into a bedroom that literally became a living tomb for him for years. Eventually it became clear that he was too ill and physically unable to continue his commitment to Sony and Trick the Fox were disbanded in July 2013.

Touched by Tragedy

Ren endured years of treatments, tests, and misdiagnoses. No one could figure out what was behind his crippling pain and declining mental health. Despite battling pain, psychosis and mental health issues, along with the crushing disappointment of each failed treatment, Ren continued to work on his first album, Freckled Angels. This album would become a heart breaking tribute to his two best friends, Joe Hughes and Callum Mackay.

Maybe this part of his story hits so close to home for me because I’ve been through something similar. I tragically lost my fiancé, who went missing while traveling on Fiji Island. We were fortunate that he was later found in the sea by local fishermen, unlike Joe Hughes, whose body was never found.  I spent years running from my grief, which caused me immense suffering and pain. In 2019, we also lost a close friend to suicide, and breaking the news to my husband was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had.

Years later in 2023 Ren releases a song entitled Suicide, which has helped thousands of his fans, although this is a weight on the singers shoulders. Discover Suicide by Ren, who dedicated the song to the memory of Joe, a decade later.

Ren’s story is a mix of health issues and musical therapy. After being misdiagnosed with everything from depression to chronic fatigue syndrome, he finally found out he had autoimmune issues, including Lyme disease and brain damage. This was a game-changer for him. Instead of backing down, he turned his struggles into powerful music that speaks to his journey.

So What Happened to Ren Gill?

Ren was misdiagnosed for seven years. Due to the delay, he became severely ill. His condition is now very difficult to treat and he has suffered neurological damage as well as significant harm to his gut. As a result, he can only eat around 10 different ingredients. He relies on numerous supplements to compensate, but the damage also means he doesn’t absorb enough nutrients from the limited food he can consume.

That right there makes me respect him even more! I mean, I’m a walking nightmare without chocolate, so I can’t even imagine the willpower he must have. Despite those crazy dietary restrictions, he’s out there making amazing music and inspiring everyone.

The Big Push

It was around this time that Ren posted a heart wrenching Video on his Youtube Channel to document his health problems and raise awareness of his torment. I have REAL problems watching this, but I feel that this video is so important, as people suffering like Ren are often out of sight and out of mind. It was after this raw video dropped that a Doctor reached out to Ren and offered him the stem cell treatment that he could not afford, but which changed his life.

Ren was then fit enough to hit the streets of Brighton, busking with the Big Push. Glenn Chambers was the drummer, while singer Ren, Romain Axisa, and Gorran Kendall were the front men. Their 2021 UK Tour was a sell-out success. Unfortunately, The Big Push played their final gig and disbanded in 2022, partly due to Ren’s health issues. Here is a link to The Big Push I shot the Sheriff, live on the streets of Brighton, a track I love.

“Hi Ren” was the Viral Sensation

I discovered the epic talents of Ren quite by accident, as I was researching an article on the legend that is Joe Cartoon, which you can read here if you missed it. When an artist, singer songwriter of Joe’s calibre says that “Hi Ren is the most impressive piece of real “art” I have seen in my life” you simply have to take notice. I followed the link on Twitter and literally feel down the Ren rabbit hole!

I ‘m saying no more, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but after reading my “very brief” run down of his life, (which barely scratches the surface quite frankly!), you will hopefully be as blown away by this viral track as I was, the first time I heard it. Not only has this music video attracted over 20 million views, there are now a huge number of reaction videos, which have become my new guilty pleasure. Watching grown men reduced to tears, shocked expressions and genuine joy is almost as satisfying as the music itself… almost!

Join the Renegades!

Ren’s music resonates with an audience of all ages and backgrounds through his authentic and relatable music. His fan base, known as the Renegades, are incredibly loyal and dedicated, and it’s hard to find a more passionate group of supporters.

Despite having no financial backing, music industry contracts, or radio play, Ren’s ground-breaking, self-released rap album “Sick Boi” sent shockwaves worldwide in 2023, by beating 80’s pop icon Rick Astley to claim the number one album in the UK. He turned down invites to shows that had given him no air time, choosing to share the winning moment live on YouTube, with the fans who helped him get there. This is the video he shared, so watch Ren and his crew celebrate as he achieves what some were calling a surprise win (I was not surprised in the slightest!) – Ren gets number 1 album in the UK

Validation indeed, and one of the most heart warming videos I have ever watched, it makes me cry every single time.

Sharing is Caring!

I’ve put together this super cool animated mini website to help spread the word about Ren’s music. It’s designed to be fun and engaging, so you’re in for a treat!

The little site is packed full of all the links you need to dive into Ren’s world, plus I’ve included some teenie tasters of my favourite tracks to wet your appetite. Go check it out and share the love!

Get one FREE!

You can grab your own copy in the form of a QR code! Share it anywhere—by text, email, on social media, or even print it on stickers and get creative. Let’s get Ren’s music out there!

Sharing the work of independent creatives and artists is at the very heart of everything we do at the Silk Purse Guild because we believe in the power of creativity and the importance of supporting talented individuals. By promoting their work, we help them gain the recognition they deserve, while also enriching our community with unique and inspiring art. It’s all about lifting each other up and fostering a vibrant, creative ecosystem where everyone can thrive.

9 thoughts on “Who is Ren Gill?

  1. Rachel Bishop says:

    😍 loving this write up about Ren. So much information and respect written here. I love that you strive to spread the word about talent that you admire. Thank you for the freebie. I have grabbed . I can’t wait to see what or whom else you are going to write about next.

  2. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful article. You did an outstanding job. Sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I’m so glad you found Ren’s music to help pull you through the tough times. XoXo from a fellow RENegade

    • Sara Hall says:

      Thank you for the lovely comment Kathy. I can’t remember the last time music made me this excited! I never went anywhere without my Walkman until my 30’s, when it all just sounded the same. Ren has lit a fire in my soul, and I have busted out my MP3 player again. Incredible talent XX

  3. Crabshttps://www.instagram.com/nastycrabcakes says:

    Ren is honestly such a special artist. His music is rooted in his physical and mental health struggles, but at its core there is a call for humanity to do better. To listen to those who think differently than you, and to always be kind. He surrounds himself with a small, but mighty team of wholesome humans who help him bring this art to life. Thank you so much for highlighting Ren.

  4. Kathryn says:

    Really excellent write up! But you’re right, this barely scratches the surface. The rabbit hole seems to be unending! It’s incredible see the diversity in his fan base. I think it is Ren’s authenticity that really creates that deep emotional connection with fans.

  5. Michaela Summerhayes says:

    I feel I’ve missed out on so much of Ren, until about 18mths ago. I have never wanted to get an artist into No.1 spot since I was a dippy know it all school girl. I’m now currently 55yrs. My son got me listening to Ren an I can truly say I’m obsessed. I have him playing everywhere, but love playing him most when travelling the meandering rds to nowhere in particular of our fine British Isles in my 7.5ton live in hgv truck. Windows open, Bluetooth speaker banging out them dulcet tones that only Ren can achieve. Singing at the top o my voice(even though I can’t sing). I can safely say from the length and breadth of our beautiful British Isles I’m making sure every sleepy hollow hear our boy from our very own Wales. I cried when SickBoi got No.1 along with Ren and the gang. Then for Money game to get best video. You’re concurring the world Ren, a bit at a time. The world is yours for taking, and your RENagades are gonna be with you all the way. But no matter where you are in the world, you’ll always be our Boi from the valleys.

    • Sara Hall says:

      What an incredible comment, and I am standing right with you on this! I am 50 and I was honestly starting to think I would be ending my ride of life listening to the like of the Stones, Bob Dylan and the talent from way back when. Now I am excited to see where this blood sucking Taipan ends up, and I am cheering him on every step of the way!

  6. Timothy Breen says:

    I love you write up on Ren. I myself am a 57 year old man raised on classic rock as well as folk music. I never had much regard for hip hop artist but the way Ren crosses genres has made rethink my influences. As a person who suffers from numerous physical maladies and psychological problems Ren’s message of suffering and hope has touched me like no other artwist and quite frequently brought me to tears. I think we need to support this young independent artist however we can and keep him in our prayers always. Thank you !!!

    • Sara Hall says:

      Hi Timothy and thanks for sharing such a personal experience. I am right there with you on this, as I have been blown away by Ren’s talent. I’m still addicted to the Tale of Jenny & Screech. My other guilty pleasure is reaction channels on YouTube. My favourite is Ryker Road. Watching those 2 discover Ren is hilarious!

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