Sick Boi REN – futuristic, humanistic words and sounds for 2024


“Thank you, thank you to friends on Facebook for telling me about Ren,” says Alan Dearling

I’d totally missed out on the rise and rise, the ascendancy of Ren Erin Gill. But I’m grateful for a few emails and posts on Facebook. I thankfully checked out Ren’s videos, his music, his originality. My friends mostly learned about Ren from their own kids (perhaps even grandkids)…so thanks to them too! I bought Ren’s second album, ‘Sick Boi’ as a 2023 Chrissie present for myself. It’s something else. Not what I thought that I would like, but it’s more about appreciating the scale of Ren’s skills, his words, his presentation and the strangeness, the unique qualities he has brought into the world. It’s rap, but it’s also intently musical. And the videos are almost unbearably intense. He seems to be a modern troubadour, a bard, some kind of preacher-man. An evangelist of rap. Or, just of ‘words’ and ‘ideas’.

He’s a social campaigner too. He’s raised awareness and money on a number of issues, and, for range of charities – particularly in the fields of mental health and for the RNLI. He’s also become an ambassador for Welsh rap and Welsh music as a whole genre.

His own health challenges and the way he has been treated in a range of health settings make him a living ambassador regarding health care and social commentary in particular – a guy who is just about winning, but knows only too well ‘the score’ – the realities of life’s knocks and almost unbearable challenges.

The songs on the new album are wordy. They throw down a veritable verbal gauntlet. But he hasn’t grown up in a musical vacuum despite the fact that many reviews centre on his reclusive nature and ill health with the residual results of Lyme disease. He’s been round the musical block and has busked many times on Brighton’s streets and played with other bands. He can really play, sing and is a song-smith, who leaves an indelible impression on the psyche. He was a member of the indie hip-hop band, Trick The Fox and The Big Push, a British busking band based in the Sussex seaside resort, Brighton.

Here’s the ground-breaking ‘Hi Ren’ from his 2022 video that went viral on-line. It was an almost life-changing video. Speaking and singing aloud in conversation with his ‘other self’. Self-deprecating, sharing his psychosis, and critically, analytically awesome:

Here are some lines from ‘Hi Ren’ as published on-line:

“Up until I was 9 years old, I would intermittently hear a voice in my head that was not my own. The voice was distinctly different to mine, and always negative. It would self criticise or urge me to do things I knew to be morally wrong. The most peculiar thing about the voice was that it took no effort on my behalf to produce. My own thoughts always felt like there was a process that required effort to bring them to the forefront of my mind, this voice appeared as though it was spoken by another. The sentences felt predetermined like they had already been constructed.”

As well as listening to ‘Sick Boi’ I’ve checked out Ren’s Facebook posts on ‘Renmakesmusic’. He’s obviously talking out loud to his ‘audience’ and speaking in their own language about issues/feelings that really matter. The Facebook page offers an interesting experience. Also, a really positive one.  He ain’t that great at spelling, but his positivity, his humanity speak their own volumes. For instance, here’s one of his latest, offered verbatim:


“Being woke should mean you are against homophobia, racism, transphobia, and all other forms of prejudice that makes people feel less than human


It shouldn’t mean you are an authoritarian bully who doesn’t leave space for any oppinions other than your own, who uses virtue signaling to tell the word what a good person you are and what a problematic person someone else is without actually tackling the route cause (singing a petition doesnt count), who takes a offense to absolutley everything and ignores nuance, subtletey and complexity in highly nuanced and sensetive topics , who screams cultural appropriation at other people embracing other cultures, and freely throws around the word facist or phobic and pushes for people loosing their jobs without taking time to meet people in the middle and find threads of understanding and humanity


Being on the right should mean you gravitate toward traditional values whilst at the same time being progressive enough to change in an ever evolving landscape, who believes in free enterprise

It shouldn’t be someone who uses problematic rhetoric to justify their own prejudice, who spouts hate based on small selectivity bias, who has a superiority complex and creates hierarchies and social circles based on anything other than the strength of someone’s character, who blames anyone other than themselves for the state of the world


The amount of cognitive dissonance in the political and social landscape is frightening and in the 33 years I’ve been alive I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an inability to meet eachother in a place of trying to understand the other. Our species is capable of incredible things, one of the core foundations of moving toward our full potential is actual being able to communicate.

We are creating a space where people are tiptoing around speaking their minds which is pushing people more extremely left and right. It’s dangerous”

In 2022, ‘Hi Ren’ received 6.8 million views in two months. His next songs released on-line through into 2023 went viral too and most made it onto the ‘Sick Boi’ album: ‘Sick Boi’, ‘Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve Retake)’, ‘Illest of Our Time’, ‘Animal Flow’, ‘Suicide’ and ‘Murderer’. The Verve’s bassist, Simon Jones, presented Ren with a guitar in appreciation of his version of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine described him one of five acts who had made “their own formidable stamp on British music throughout the year.”

‘Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)’:

‘Sick Boi’ became the UK’s number one album in October 2023. But Ren was still undergoing therapy in Calgary, Canada, so his incredible success, which saw him hold off Rick Astley for the number one spot, was down to his phenomenal fanbase on-line. The adulation continues and I have to agree with it. Ren is a prodigious new(ish) talent. January 2024 witnessed Ren and Samuel Perry-Falvey winning the Best Music Video, Best Director Music Video, and an Honourable Mention for Best Cinematography for the music video Money Game part 3, from the ‘Sick Boi album’, at the International Music Video Awards. ‘Money Game part 3’ video. Epic:

Here’s the video for ‘Suicide’ from ‘Sick Boi’, just one of many epic songs which form part of the remarkable, autobiographical, Sick Boi song-cycle:

Rant over. Sort of. If you are not aware of him. Go check him out.







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