Photo: Kylie Nic

It’s quite timely that on the week of Britney Spears’ memoir release, we feature an emerging artist that idolized the iconic Queen of Pop during her start in music and acting. We’re speaking of Ren Martinez (formerly Ren Farren).

As the youngest daughter in a family of performers, Ren is quickly making her mark in the world of music and entertainment. Amongst a sea of performers, her captivating vocals, heartfelt songwriting, and electrifying performances is sure to set her apart.

To date, she has since released albums like “Good Girl” and “Where I am Wild,” with hit singles including “Uncool,” “Lose the Night,” “See Me Through,” and “Crier.” Her tracks have found its way into screens being featured on popular television shows like “Hacks”, “New Girl”, “Friends from College”, “Single Parents”, and “The Young and the Restless”, solidifying her status as a versatile artist with a sound that resonates far and wide.

As mentioned, Ren’s electrifying performances are a key element the emerging artist has to offer and not be missed. From a dynamic show at Madame Siam in Hollywood to a moving tribute to Joni Mitchell at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble alongside Jean Claudes, she continues to grace the city’s stages with her soulful performances.

Will Ren Martinez emerge as a future Queen of Music, only time will tell? For now, Ren’s music is currently available on Spotify, Soundcloud, and iTunes. 

Tell us how you got started in music and acting.

I’ve been singing since before I can remember, and was obsessed with the late 90s power pop of my early childhood, idolizing Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys while also being deeply influenced by the Laurel Canyon folk rock of my parents’ generation—Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, those kinds of songwriters laid the foundation for me. I did community theater as a kid, and acting always felt like the most natural thing in the world. The performing arts were my guiding force, and I spent thousands of hours of my upbringing at rehearsals for school plays and musicals and at choir practice. That's where I've always found all my best friends–it's an easy world to fall in love with, and I've always known that's the direction I wanted my life to go in. I entered USC’s Popular Music Performance program at 17, that’s where I began to come into my own as a songwriter. 

How would you describe your music?

My music is lyrical pop rock, honest and hooky and very, very fun live. It’ll make you want to cry or dance or write in your diary, or some combination of the three.

You’ve released two EPs. What can we expect from your upcoming debut album?

For my album, I really wanted the collection of songs to pay homage to my musical heroes, a range of musicians across genre and decade who have influenced me so deeply. Every song on it is directly inspired by one or two of my favorite artists—I have my Fountains of Wayne song, my Dixie Chicks song, my Robyn song, my Elliott Smith song, my SZA song, elements pulled from all different places but with my voice running through it all.

Who/What are your inspirations when it comes to songwriting?

I’m inspired by smart pop music, emotional rock music, music that puts feeling at the heart of everything. I love the type of song that you can sit with for years and years and get something different out of it at different stages of life. I love a song that can make you cry alone in a room. I love a song you listen to in the car and immediately start it back over when it’s done, because you haven’t gotten enough of it. The song you are absolutely THRILLED to hear come on when you're out dancing. Those are the types of songs I hope to write. 

Who are your current favorite artists?

My favorite artists are my genius friends, no lie—Lou Roy, Okudaxij, Alex Pachino, Illuminati Hotties, Maddie Ross, Alex Bloom, Georgia Greene, Elizabritz, Rett Madison, Alex Lahey, Remi Wolf, Jack DeMeo, Mackin the Destroyer, Aaron Childs, Sam Wilkes, Moira Mack—I could go on and on!! These are the people I listen to all the time, these are the shows I'm going to, this is the community I'm honored to be a part of.

If you could work with any artist, who would you want to collaborate with?

Every duet Kacey Musgraves does is perfect—I’d love to write a song with her one day.

What truly inspires you?

What truly inspires me is goodness and kindness. There is nothing that makes me want to be better more than witnessing a human being with an enormous heart.

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style goes wherever the wind blows me 100% of the time, I wear what I want and don’t take it too seriously. I love playing with gender expression in my clothing, and probably have the most fun when I’m either dressing super femme or very boyish. I’m usually pretty casual but I love an insane statement piece, and I love sparkles on stage. Life is short, I wanna wear everything.