By Romi Maddex | 29, July 2022
Lauren Isenbery (also known as ‘renforshort’) is a young artist from Toronto, Canada. From a young age, she listened to artists such as Billy Joel, The Velvet Underground and Nirvana all thanks to the influence of her parents. At the ripe age of thirteen, Lauren was writing her own music; the first would be a song called “Hopeless Town” which was produced by a man named Nathan Ferraro a member of the canadian band called ‘The Midway State’. Like most emerging artists, she posted covers of songs to her youtube channel and SoundCloud. Fast forward a few years and her debut single Waves’ was released in February of 2019, which garnered her a large following.
Being young in such an adult dominated industry can be extremely intimidating. Lauren shared “As young people you will always have to be a little bit louder”. Trying to have a voice in the industry at a young age can be met with low expectations and covered ears. As a woman in the industry Lauren expressed a few different hurdles she has encountered; such as people thinking her and her team are at a venue to support a husband and she has had to explain that is simply not the case. The music industry doesn’t make it easy for women to rise to the top. As soon as they start to show signs of ageing or weight gain, they are critically penalised. It's like they have to do their best to over perform in the sense of their femininity and expectation when it comes to their aesthetics, performances and skill sets. For Lauren surrounding herself with other women is very important to her and she even expressed that she has an almost all women team. But, during her last tour she worked alongside an all male team; She has a deep regard for them but having those women on the road with her meant alot and she even vocally mentioned how she needs more women on her tour. It's a very empowering thing for her.
When asked about what change she would like to see in the industry for women Lauren said that she started very young so not only did she have the “road bump of being a woman” she was also viewed as a young person. She voiced that she thinks people should listen to women more and it is such a shame that men can become intimidated by powerful women. Even though she likes the idea of people being intimidated to a certain extent it would be great to seen as a person.” look at me like I am a person and listen to me”.
The whole industry is such a male dominated space; especially when it comes to producers and engineers. Entering those spaces as a woman can be very challenging, no matter if you aspire to work in a studio or even work alongside a male colleague as an artist. Lauren spoke about how she has been and still is quite a passive person; she wants to be able to break out of this so she can “...really do her thing…”. It can be super intimidating to voice your thoughts and opinions in any field of work so this is a challenge that women in all professions face. This also links to how she feels like young artists are viewed as children; as sometimes as a child it is a lot easier to not confront professionals around.
Lauren has faced a lot as an artist and woman in the music industry. With her platform, she is looking to change the status quo for people in her position and she will continue to encourage female-led workspaces. By surrounding herself with a majority female team, she is helping normalize women’s rightful place within the industry. Life is hard for everyone in a multitude of ways right now, and renforshort is an artist who creates work that not only she, but also her audience, can relate to.