At 18, Toronto-born up-and-comer Renforshort is already breaking the mould.
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Style: Diverse musical influences, grungy guitar riffs, and raw, authentic teen-angst lyrics define Renforshort’s constantly shifting style
Listening To: Radiohead, Glave, Wilco, Mitski, Mac Miller
If You Like: Olivia O’Brien, Billie Eilish, bülow
At 18, Toronto-born up-and-comer Renforshort is already breaking the mould. The multifaceted teen artist, who started writing viral hits while still in high school, is showing no signs of slowing down—in fact, she’s planning a move to L.A. and working on expanding her sound beyond anything she’s released before.
Renforshort, full name Lauren Isenberg, has been on a prodigious trajectory since dropping her first few singles in 2019. Her debut EP, teenage angst, was released to much acclaim in 2020, and her fanbase has been growing steadily with every subsequent drop.
“It was so slow and steady,” she says of her success. “Every time I put out a song my audience just grows and grows by a bit each time. I like that. It feels steady and sustainable. It feels like I have some sort of longevity—there’s something there that feels good with a steady growth rather than just one viral hit.”
Ren’s unique brand of alt-pop utilizes grungy guitar riffs, unfiltered lyricism, and pop-punk and psych-rock influences to build a screamable, accessible discography. Her influences—which include Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Kendrick Lamar, Mitski and The Strokes— are as diverse as they are plenty, and she’s determined to create a unique presence in an industry that seeks to minimize and homogenize female artists.
“There are always comments calling me a Billie Eilish wannabe or whatever. I’m like, okay… let’s keep comparing every young female artist to the same person. Not that I don’t love Billie Eilish, but I feel like people are constantly comparing every one of us to each other. That doesn’t happen with male artists… they don’t have to deal with that.”
Building an online audience in the tens of thousands before finishing puberty isn’t easy for anyone, and Ren has used her anxiety as the inspiration for some of her biggest hits, like her neurotic banger I drive me mad.
“I’m always over-analyzing everything. Everything that’s posted about me, everything that’s out there. But I’m lucky, because my audience is the perfect size right now. It hasn’t been too overwhelming.”
As for the future?
“I just want to remain in the headspace I’m in right now,” Ren says. “I want to keep positive and happy. Making music is literally the only thing I can see myself doing with my life—there’s no other thing I could do.”