“Five Minutes With” Bubblegum Grunge Artist renforshort

If you ask renforshort what kind of music she makes, her response may surprise you. “Tastefully weird,” she’ll say. And yet, no descriptor would be better suited to characterize the enigmatic rising pop star’s personal brand of deeply reflective, yet undeniably relatable, left-of-center alt-pop.

Hailing from Toronto, the prodigious 17-year-old singer-songwriter was destined for pop stardom long before she signed with Geffen Records and racked up more than 5 million streams on streaming (with only two songs out at the time, by the way). Inspired by the work of icons like Bob Dylan (“Growing up, my dad would tell me that he’s the best songwriter in the world,” renforshort wisely recalls) and Amy Winehouse, as well as atmosphere- and emotion-driven films like Coraline and Call Me By Your Name, renforshort’s creative childhood was packed with piano and singing lessons, musical theater, movies, and writing stories — activities encouraged by the young performer’s artistic-leaning family.

Though she was always interested in singing, it was during one serendipitous open mic night in 2016 when 14-year-old renforshort realized she was truly meant to make music. In early 2019, just two years after her open mic revelation, renforshort released her debut single “waves,” an atmospheric, wistful ode to burgeoning romance. But it was a few months later that she was catapulted into the upper echelons of digital fame when her second single, the twisted love song “mind games,” went viral thanks to its unexpectedly edgy tone, instantly catchy hook, and eerie, Tim Burton inspired music video.

renforshort’s debut EP — a genre-spanning collection of soul-baring, youth-driven songs about young love, anxiety, restlessness, and self-image, among other personal topics — indeed captures the fleeting, ultimately beautiful uncertainties that come with growing up. Sure, streaming and social media numbers are a fantastic way to quantify an artist’s impact (renforshort’s got both in droves), and it’s an impressive feat to be named on lists like Apple Music Artist of the Week (May 2019) or Soundcloud’s Artist to Watch (August 2019), but for ren, the true measurement for success is found in the salient connection between artist and listener.

renforshort- Photo Credit Patrick Ryder
Photo Credit: Patrick Ryder

Name: renforshort

Genre: bubblegum grunge

Founded: 2002

# of Albums: My first EP teenage angst came out this year!

Latest Release: “nostalgic (luvsick)” !!

Latest Single: “nostalgic (luvsick)” !!!

Latest Video: “fuck, i luv my friends” (basement session)!

Favourite local Restaurant:

Only for special occasions Joso’s, but for everyday life Bagel House is soooo good 🙂

Favourite band as a teenager:

I am still a teenager hehe, however the most consistent bands I’ve like through these years have been Nirvana, RHCP, and Green Day

Favourite band now:

My favourite band now is probably Neutral Milk Hotel and Catfish and the Bottlemen

Guilty Pleasure Song:

“Kill em with kindness” – Selena Gomez. I’ve always been a Selena stan, I love her so much.

Live Show Ritual:

My whole band just screams “Great tour”, kind of an inside joke but it’s lived on and I’m not mad about it!

Favourite local artist:

My favourite local artist is Daniel Caesar. Not so local anymore but he’s so incredibly talented and his work ethic is beyond!

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Pasta from Terroni – consistent, delicious, great vibes, love it.

Queen or College St?

Queen street for shopping and College street for food, I can’t choose haha

Trinity Bellwoods, High Park, Riverdale, Kew Gardens, or other?

Trinity Bellwoods in the summer is lovely but I like High Park in the spring when the trees start to blossom, it’s so pretty.

EP or LP?

EP for now cause I haven’t put out an LP so I don’t know how it feels hahah This answer could change though!

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl for sure. I’m most creative and alert at night for some reason

Road or studio?

ooooooooo really different vibes almost like two different worlds. You meet so many people in both situations, however I’m gonna have to go with road for now.

Swiss Chalet or Roti?

Swiss chalet for me cause I’m veg and it’s a little easier to eat there. I also used to love the cold chicken the next day delicious.

Where can we follow you?






Any shows or albums coming up? 

I have a single that’s out now! It’s called “nostalgic (luvsick)”!! I’m really excited about it!!