Interview: renforshort on finding virtual songwriting success
Ask most 18-year-olds what they were up to during quarantine and chances are writing and recording a hit record wasn't one of them. While most kids spent their time with Tik Tok or Tiger King, renforshort (Lauren for long) started writing and finalizing a series of tracks that would eventually rack up millions of streams online. Her alternative writing style and aesthetic has caught the attention of many including Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park who remixed her track "i drive me mad" earlier this year.
The thing that sets renforshort apart from other aspiring young women in the music industry, is her upbeat and guitar-laced approach to pop music. While other artists her age continue on the dream-like electro pop wave that has proven to perform well on streaming platforms, renforshort continues to pave her own path in the pop-rock world.
Her primary guitar sound is heavily influenced by the staggering approach seen during the 90s grunge movement. Pairing soft verses with a heavy chorus provides a complex series of sounds that keeps listeners coming back for more.
She likes to use the same guitar pedals Nirvana had in the 90s and is constantly determined to have absolutely perfect guitar licks on every track. Since her latest single "nostalgic (luvsick)" had to be completed virtually, renforshort quickly realized that online writing sessions weren't very rock n' roll.
“Having that grungy kind of dirty, gritty thing going on is something that I really like. So that was something that we needed to get 100% right and that’s one of the things that took a while to do (over Zoom). But yeah, I think we finally got it and I really really love how that turned out! The guitar is one of my favourite parts.”
Released today, the track’s accompanying music video pays homage to the indie cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The Toronto based film starring Michael Cera has been a long time favourite for music fans and just recently celebrated its 10th year anniversary. The comic book style approach to filmmaking in Scott Pilgrim can be seen in the new video, as renforshort grapples with the loss of a high school relationship.
“It’s one of the first movies that I have a memory of seeing in theatres. When I was 8 years old we went with a group of girls and they all hated it except for me! It’s filmed in Toronto and I love the style of it and I love Edgar Wright. It makes me really happy….it’s so good and I felt like if I was ever going to use it, it would be for this song.”
“Nostalgic (luvsick)” isn's the only successful track renforshort has been able to release since touring halted. When the world initially shut down, her first virtual writing session saw the creation of “fuck, I luv my friends,” one of the more softer songs in her catalogue which quickly received almost 2 million streams on Spotify alone.
“That was one of the first songs I did on Zoom and it's about quarantine! I think that was a miracle, that song! It was a miracle that happened. We were all fresh and new to Zoom… we were all very motivated at that point and we made a song that we liked and put it out.”
While the majority of us spent quarantine watching too many movies or baking too much bread, renforshort took this opportunity to elevate her career to the next level. Her presence online combined with successful streaming numbers has positioned the young songwriter to end 2020 on a high note. With eventual plans to release her debut full length album in 2021 renforshort isn't slowing down anytime soon.