Geffen Records Signs 17-Year-Old Toronto Singer ren: Exclusive


She will release her first single with the label on Nov. 13.

With just two singles under her belt, Toronto singer and musician ren has been scooped up by Geffen Records, Billboard can exclusively reveal.

Inspired by the likes of Amy Winehouse and Joni Mitchell, ren began writing music at age 13 and honed her talent by performing open mics around town. Now 17 years old, she released her debut single "waves" — a chilling, minimal pop tune about vulnerability in a relationship — independently in February.

As it built traction on SoundCloud, where ren was named one of the platform's weekly Artists to Watch, the song caught the attention of Geffen A&R representative Danny Herrle. He invited ren (short for her first name, Lauren) and her managers Chris Martin and Riley Kirkwood to the label's Los Angeles offices this spring.

"The way she spoke of her art and the vision that she had for herself in that first meeting was incredibly unique, and made it clear that she’s an exceptional talent beyond her years," Herrle says. "Her music is expressive and honest, and I’m so stoked to welcome her to the team to begin this journey together. She’s a special one."

Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson says he was similarly impressed by their meeting: "She has this composed way about her — a restraint that at first glance may seem effortless," he adds. "But under the surface you intuitively know there’s a ferocious beast about to explode." 

Ren released her brooding second single, "mind games," in May, and it has already accumulated more than 2.6 million streams on Spotify. Next, she'll release her first single through Geffen on Nov. 13.

"Neil is such a dynamic, positive, passionate person — his optimism is contagious, and knowing that he believes in me as much as I believe in myself made this fit a no brainer," ren says. "I feel super stoked to be working with such a killer team. They really understand my creative vision and have done such an amazing job at keeping artists authentic and true to themselves and their brand.

"Historically, Geffen has always been a super cool label," she continues. "They have been home to some of my favorite artists such as Joni Mitchell, not to mention one of my all-time favorites, Nirvana, which is so crazy to me."

The storied label was founded by its namesake, David Geffen, through Warner Bros. in 1980. It became one of the most successful labels of the decade, with hits from Elton John, Don Henley, Guns N' Roses and others, and emerged as an alternative haven in the '90s, signing Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Beck. In 1999, Geffen was absorbed into Interscope, and essentially annexed. While it has been revived occasionally since, the label announced an official relaunch with Jacobson at the helm in 2017.

Ren joins a roster that includes DJ Snake, Lil Jon, Yungblud and Mura Masa