With a voice that hails back to classic vocalists of the past, yet with a refreshing and youthful attitude, saying that the rise of 21-year-old Salford born vocalist Ren Harvieu is inspirational would be an understatement…
Having no Brit School training or showbiz connections, Ren attended what she refers to as “the Primark version of a performing arts school” where tutors told her she couldn’t sing, and entered a few local talent shows. However, it was when a few rough recordings of the then teenager’s songs were discovered by chance by soon-to-be manager Paul Harrison on her MySpace page, that things began to change.
Harrison helped her to get her music recorded properly and presented it to Island Records, and soon enough she had a record deal and was preparing her debut album Through The Night which was set for release in Summer 2011. Things kept moving forward smoothly, spending time touring, performing an amazing headlining show in London which gained her a booking at Glastonbury from the BBC Introducing team, a couple of weeks in the US got her a new fan in rapper Nas who fell in love with her voice, inviting her to record with him.
It was at this point that things took a turn for the worst. When out at a party in London, a partygoer decided to vault over a hedge, flying in out of nowhere and hitting Ren in the ribs leaving her with two broken vertebrae sticking out from her clothing, and she spent the next two months in a North London hospital, 200 miles away from home, where she was told she’d never walk again.
The inspiring young talent didn’t let this stop her, however and miraculously emerged from the hospital after the 2 months walking with a cane and is now fully recovered, having been inspired to keep going with her music career and finally get her debut album out, which it did back in May this year. Since then Ren has gone from strength to strength, recently completing her own UK tour, after a Summer of show-stealing festival performances at T In The Park, V-Festival and Bestival as well as hooking up with Nas to perform at his set for Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend. With a critically acclaimed album now under her belt, and a nomination for BBC’s Sound Of 2012, Ren is definitely a talent to keep an eye on over the next 12 months.
Words by Grant Brydon
Edited by Natalia