In my initial draft for this blog the Who is Ren? section was last. I then watched a very personal soul baring video by this young man and flipped it.
Please read all of this blog.
Who is Ren?
Ren Gill is an incredibly talented young man who has been living with and battling various chronic health problems for a decade.
He lost his 20's.
But there is hope. There is music. There is determination. And there is a growing movement of support.
Ren, when he has been well enough, has played on the streets of Brighton, released demos (and proper recordings) online, created a YouTube channel and is building a huge following through word of mouth.
He's doing it all his way, in his own time, with friends and with true heart and soul.
Check his YouTube channel. It's incredible.
His latest update this week indicates that he will be in Canada for treatment for the next 6-months.
Watch this video to see what it means to him. It's the most emotional thing I have watched in a long time.
If you enjoy this song (video below) and appreciate his talent, maybe, like I have, you could donate the cost of a CD - £10. As Ren says on his GoFundMe update - if everyone who appreciates his talent could make a donation, he has a fighting chance. He is very transparent about his illness and the cost of treatment.
My initial blog - Hi Ren
Over the course of a week or so a few people I follow online posted a video that I never checked out. And then a few more people posted it ... and I checked it out.
I'm very glad I did. It was an extraordinary performance video by the artist Ren for his song Hi Ren.
In the video ren is wheeled in on a wheelchair/hospital chair into a run down room. Wearing a hospital gown and with his acoustic guitar strapped round him, hair shaved to the bone at the sides and ragged and jagged on top, Ren then delivers a performance that I couldn't take my eyes off.
Ren Gill has been battling chronic health problems for over a decade, and in this song he plays two characters representing the voices in his head (good/bad, angel/devil, light/dark) Ren shows his intelligence, soul, humility, humour and talent, but also allows his anger, frustration and doubt to surface. It's genuinely outstanding.
The video is recorded live, cleverly edited as Ren switches from each character, turning left to right. His facial expressions are incredible as he really gets into the 'Bad Ren' as he takes over the song.
But then the song flips as Ren himself comes through, the song slows, a beautiful guitar riff is introduced
Hi Ren, I've been taking some time to be distant
I've been taking some time to be still
I've been taking some time to be by myself
And I've spent half my life ill
But as sure as the tide starts turning
Just as sure as the night has dawn
Just as sure as rain fall soon runs dry
When you stand in the eye of the storm
Ren rises to his feet, bares his soul and keeps on singing. He then takes off his guitar and speaks directly into the camera about his illness, auto-immunity and psychosis. It's beautiful.
It was never a battle for me to win, it was an eternal dance
And like a dance, the more rigid I became the harder it got
The more I cursed my clumsy footsteps the more I suffered
And so I got older and I learned to relax
And I learned to soften and that dance got easier
It is this eternal waltz that separates human beings
From angels, from demons, from gods
And I must not forget, we must not forget, that we are human beings