About Chris Renzema
Chris Renzema is a dynamic writer and performer, whose combination of accessible – if a bit disheveled – charm, a love for storytelling, and poignant lyricism, can transform an evening concert into a conversation. Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Chris learned to play and sing in churches, while ingesting a steady diet of early 70’s Folk, Punk Rock, and Wilco. His faith and love for music inseparably interwoven, his personal writing plays out like heartfelt, jagged prayers. Just as comfortable playing in a living room as he does a theatre, his honest, vulnerable lyrics both encourage and challenge listeners.
Affectionately known as Renz to his friends, Chris is the textbook definition of unassuming. With kind eyes and a soft-spoken voice, he’s immediately warm and friendly, at ease in himself in a quiet way that’s a little bit mystery, a little bit careful observer. While many artists have to work at giving off the same affable vibe, Renzema comes by it honest, which is perhaps the key to his simmering success.
After teaching himself to play guitar and write songs while in high school, Renzema got the opportunity to record some of his music at a hometown studio in Grand Rapids, MI. That first EP, Age to Age, quickly took on a life of its own as his song “You’re the Only One” was chosen for a feature in Worship Leader magazine. He followed up that EP by recording a full album, I’ll Be the Branches, which included “How to Be Yours,” which has racked up over 18 million streams. And “Springtime” from the 2020 album Let the Ground Rest, has received the same amount of streams. All of Renzema’s success has happened without any radio play or major marketing campaigns. It’s been through organic word of mouth, person to person, exactly in line with who Renzema is, both as an artist and a person.
Renzema’s songs are acoustic at heart, shifting seamlessly from indie rock to folk worship to Americana; gritty but accessible, profound but infinitely listenable with a voice that yearns like a desert island man singing for a cup of water. It’s bone deep, an echoing of the universality of pain and praise.
Renzema’s early groundswell continues to surprise as he’s selling out shows and tipping the streaming scales with over 800,000 monthly listeners. Fans are flocking to his unwavering authenticity and to his message of real-life hope.