Hey, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Ren Farren, a 24-year-old LA native. I grew up in Malibu, then attended USC’s Popular Music Program, and now I’m living in Echo Park. As a songwriter, I’ve always been influenced by this really specific dichotomy: the Laurel Canyon folk rock that my parents raised me on, so many hours driving on PCH, sitting in the backseat listening to Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell, and then the radio bubblegum pop I raised myself on, dancing and singing in my bedroom, decorating my mirror with stickers of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.
I think you can hear echoes of both of those genres in the music I make. I like drama, I like hooks, I like vulnerability, I like stories, I like high stakes, in what I listen to and in what I write. My friends are all insanely talented musicians so I spend a lot of my time going to shows around LA, which is not a bad way to live your life. When I’m not doing that I’m reading or discussing Game of Thrones theories or trying to understand how to use Twitter or fantasizing about owning a dog (never had a pet, it’s tragic).
My best friend Brian Robert Jones produces my music when he’s not touring with Gwen Stefani or MUNA (<3) and I’ve collaborated with producers Wolfy and Goldroom. My songs have been on TV shows New Girl, The Young & the Restless, Coupled, and Friends From College, and this new indie movie Dating My Mother about a single mom and her gay son foraying into the world of online dating, which I’m VERY excited to see.
Where did the new single come from?
This new single Uncool is a song that’s kind of been floating around my head for a really long time. Like a lot of writers/artists/generally angsty people, I tend to be pretty nostalgic and think a lot about the past–which can be really painful or really wonderful or both at the same time, and a lot of that depends on the frame of mind you’re in about the present. I spent the end of last year going through a lot of really difficult transitions in terms of the people in my life who meant the most to me, and it put me in this place where I was really reminiscing about the way that friendship and love feel so powerful and infinite when you’re a teenager.
This song is a kind of love letter to my adolescence. It’s about the insane, intense conviction you have in high school that you and your friends are totally endless–this sense of family and raw adoration–and then the confusion that can follow in the wake of all that passion and excitement, when you start to grow up a little, and things start to change, and you don’t necessarily hold on to all the things you were so convinced you’d keep forever. It’s about young love. It’s a thankful song, and a really affectionate song, and a wistful song. I hope it’s a song that evokes a feeling people can recognize in their own lives. That would be really fucking cool.
Is there more content in the pipeline?
This song is the second of four songs I recorded this summer with Brian. I think of them as an EP, but I’m releasing them one by one, so there will be two more singles coming after this one to finish out the year. I have a bunch of demos I’ve been working on with one of my best friends who produces under the pseudonym Wolfy, and we’re planning on doing an EP together.
The “Blood” EP she came out with this summer, which I featured on for the track Solid Gold, is insanely good and I could not recommend it more highly. I’m not usually the most prolific writer, but the last year or so I’ve been writing a ton, so I’m eager to start recording again soon.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Going to play some shows around LA once all the songs on this EP are out–my first shows in a while, so I’m really excited. Playing live is my favorite thing and I’m gonna focus on playing as much as possible. I also have all these other songs that I can’t wait to record. Everything is super DIY now but I want to build it bigger and bigger. My goal for the time being is to make as much good music as possible, and get it out to as many ears as I can. And also just be a kind, considerate, mindful person and do what I can to make the world better during what seems to be the most horrible and frightening and desolate time. Baby steps. ❤