How Music Star Rene Byrd Succeeds And Thrives As Both A Celebrity And An Entrepreneur

Ming S. Zhao
Feb 27 · 11 min read

I pray just like a conversation, sometimes my prayers are questions, wants or desires but mostly thanks. I have so much to be thankful for — just look around at things that go on in the world and it makes you have gratitude. I practice saying to people close to me that I love them. Life is so precious and so short lived at times, so I say those words often so the people close to me know how I feel about them.


At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “How To Succeed And Thrive As Both A Celebrity And An Entrepreneur”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rene Byrd.

Rene Byrd is the latest R&B/Pop songstress whose vocal talent has invited the attention of associates of the legendary Quincy Jones. Rene has performed at some of the most talked about international venues and on behalf of a European Prime Minister.

Rene Byrd comes from a corporate background, which funded and elevated her exciting musical career from boardroom to stage. With her unique voice and engaging live performances, Rene has been creating a social media buzz with an online video that amassed over 50,000 views.

Rene’s new single ‘Born Again’ is a heartfelt rendition of the classic song originally performed by Billy Preston and Syreeta. The cover is a title track from the forthcoming album which is due to be released next year. The single is a fusion of salsa and mid-tempo R&B sounds produced by the TJN Music team. ‘Born Again’ has a beautiful vocal performance that has captured the interest of audiences in the UK and USA in a short space of time; the single is already receiving rave reviews from radio stations in its initial circulation. The debut single ‘Born Again’ tells the story of new beginnings and feeling complete through love and romance. The lyrics are passionate and honest and Rene portrays this through her performance as an artist. The accompanying music video directed by Chas Appeti provides warm, soft visuals to bring the story to life. Rene brings her love of luxury fashion to the screen in haute couture; reminiscent of the Rene Byrd brand in its entirety.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

I know it’s cliché, but I come from a musical family. My father was in a band that was signed to RCA records in the 1980s and my uncle is internationally known as ‘Bishop John Francis,’ whose choir sung for HRH Majesty the Queen at the Royal Variety Show. My uncle had a gospel TV show broadcasted on Channel 4 called ‘People Get Ready.’ It was a regular occurrence to see both my father and my uncle on the TV, so naturally both of them inspired me to sing. One of my most vivid memories as a young child was being side stage at an open-air concert in London. I watched Sade, Sting and Tracy Chapman perform and it blew me away so much that I ran onto the stage and proceeded to serenade the crowd.

My early teens came with some challenges. I grew up in East London and I’m proud of my upbringing; I come from humble beginnings. I was a typical teenager that thought I knew it all. I did fairly well in school but wasn’t the most confident, I loved singing but would always turn my back to the listeners. In my early teens I fell in love and my boyfriend at the time became an alcoholic. This came with many ups and downs — it’s the worst thing seeing someone you care about struggle with an addiction and no matter what you do, you can’t get them to stop. To save myself I decided to walk away and made a pact with myself to do better. Following that experience I decided to go to university and better myself.

A brief encounter in my early twenties found me in a long term relationship but sadly that came to an end. That break-up was so painful and although I had heard elders say that love hurts, it felt like a pain I had never felt before. I remember rocking myself to sleep for many nights in my damp ridden flat but it’s amazing how that particular break-up was literally a breakthrough. The night of my breakup I was studying for my corporate finance exam crying over the workbook, but I knew I had to wipe my tears and pull myself together. I ended up passing that exam. Songwriting became my therapy, I chose to use that pain and channel that into writing stories from the heart which have become songs which are part of my forthcoming album.

The music industry comes at a huge financial cost so I decided very quickly that I needed a well-paid job alongside my first love — music, to help fund studio time, photoshoots and the vast number of things you need to create success. My musical journey has given me the opportunity to perform at some of the most prestigious venues in the world and be part of an iconic moment representing a charity as an ambassador for the late Mr. Nelson Mandela on Sky News following his death.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, many people in relation to my music career including my father who has always supported me. He taught me how to write songs and has been with me every step of the way. My cousin Howard Francis who has been involved in many of the songs on my album. My late uncle Linton Beckles, the lead singer of a group called ‘Central Line’, was the first to record me in the studio when I was very young. My two brothers who watched me early in my career get let down by people in the industry time after time now form part of my production company. The list is endless. One particular story that springs to mind was my first ever vocal recording in the studio with my late uncle. The session required a female vocalist so I shouted ‘I will do it!’. At the time my dad had no idea that I could sing so was a little taken aback. I asked my dad along with the rest of the crew to leave the room because I was so nervous, but needless to say I blew them away with what they heard back at them. It gets me quite emotional thinking about this memory as my uncle is no longer with us.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I cringe thinking about it. I was performing for a European Prime Minister for a gallery opening and half-way through my performance I was about to sing one of my ballads when I literally forgot the words. I spent what felt like a lifetime improvising, praying to remember, looking at my band to help me out! Thankfully the words popped into my head and I managed to save myself but I will never forget that feeling. I can laugh about it now. The take-away was that no matter how much you rehearse, sadly you can go blank and forget your words but you have to remain calm and be professional because the show must go on.

As a celebrity, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

You have one life and whilst you are here on this earth you have to do what makes your soul come alive. I would be lying to you if I said this career path is easy but nothing worth having comes without many trials and tribulations. You will face great moments and hard rejections but all of those things are designed to make you stronger, wiser and more determined to succeed. You have to train your mindset to be positive and see every opportunity good or bad as a way to grow. Be prepared to give this life your best shot.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. You have been successful as both a celebrity and an entrepreneur. Most celebrities don’t make that transition successfully. We’d love to learn your secret. How do you do both?

I have learnt the art of juggling both celebrity and entrepreneurship, they both work hand in hand. I do believe coming from a corporate background has helped me, you have to be very resilient and have a great work ethic. I use the same approach with my music, insisting that my brand comes over professional and making sure I do my best to deliver high quality results both in and out of the studio. I am not scared of getting things wrong as I realise that’s how you grow. I have a number of other entrepreneurs in my close circle so we often brainstorm to discuss which methods work.

You are a busy leader with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind and heart. Every night or day when I get home, I light a candle. I can literally feel my heart beat slowing down and it helps me to think straight and plan ahead in a calm environment. I love to laugh so I insist on watching a comedy as part of my self-care routine. I find that the world and its complexities can be heavy at times and watching something light hearted can help create a sense of peace.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I have struggled in the past with very low moments and self-esteem issues. I managed to turn that around through positive thinking, gratitude and speaking positive affirmations on a daily basis. It’s been life changing and just helps you to really put things into perspective. It’s normal to second guess yourself, it’s normal to have bad days but it’s so important to train your brain not to stay there.

Can you share with us two routines that you partake in to help your heart or spiritual side to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I pray just like a conversation, sometimes my prayers are questions, wants or desires but mostly thanks. I have so much to be thankful for — just look around at things that go on in the world and it makes you have gratitude. I practice saying to people close to me that I love them. Life is so precious and so short lived at times, so I say those words often so the people close to me know how I feel about them.

All of us have great days and bad days. On days when you feel like a rockstar what do you do? What does that day look like, and what did you do to get there?

It’s usually one of those days when everything just flows. The meetings go well, you seal the best deals with brands, you sing the best vocal in the studio. On a day like that I just trust the process, follow through with a positive attitude and it all falls into place like clockwork.

In contrast, on days when you feel down, what do you do?

I take some time to reflect and do a mind reset. Unless it’s life or death, whatever it is I can work through it and so I purposefully decide to push through and see it as another obstacle to overcome.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

The most impactful moment in my life was watching Barack Obama become the first black president of the United States, I remember crying tears of joy. This was a very profound moment in my life as being a woman of colour and knowing his story, it gave me hope that anything is possible and in turn motivated me to ensure my platform has purpose.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

Yes, I am not ashamed to say that I have tried a treatment which helps stimulate your lymphatic drainage system. I have never been so uncomfortable and although the practitioner was amazing, I couldn’t help but lie there laughing to myself and thinking ‘the things we do…!’ I never returned.

You’re a high achieving creative authority and leader, and yet, you may have family and loved ones that require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the high powered executive at the door, and become a loving caretaker at home?

I am so grateful that my home life is my haven, although I have to be honest it’s not entirely easy to switch off as I am really hands on with my career and involved in all aspects. I have to be so disciplined not to read or answer an international email late at night. I do my best to make it a point to treat family time as just that, such as cooking a hearty Caribbean meal with a tall flute of bubbles.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

Michelle Obama — she is without question one of the most inspirational women of the last decade. Her journey to the White House as First Lady of the United States is incredible. The fact that she was raised on the South Side of Chicago from humble beginnings and became a Princeton and Harvard graduate truly makes her a role model to all. Michelle Obama would have so many nuggets of information to pass on, I would literally be like a sponge soaking it all up.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

You can find me on all social media platforms:

Instagram — Renebyrdofficial

Twitter — Renebyrdworld

Facebook — Renebyrdofficialglobal

Linkedin — Rene Byrd

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Ming S. Zhao

Written by

Co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Skincare. Ming is an entrepreneur, business strategist, investor and podcast host.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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