Fighter Tells Story of Personal battles
Garnering seven Covenant Award nominations,
Fighter looks at many of the battles Chris Greenwood, known
by his stage name Manafest, has fought and survived.
The 33-year-old from Pickering, Ont., lost his father
to suicide when he was five. A promising skateboarding
career was cut short by injury. And an early foray into the
music industry left him $30,000 in debt.
Fighter’s first single, a ballad titled “Never Let You
Go,” tells how Manafest overcame. “When you’re scared
and you can’t see past a day / Remember who holds
tomorrow / Reach out in the darkness / Hold on, it’s all
worth fighting for / I will never let you go.”
“God gave me wisdom and I kept on pursuing,” says
Manafest, who remembers his mother taking him to
church after his father’s death and how faith in God helped him through.
After a disastrous start, Manafest’s music career took off after he was noticed by Trevor
McNevan, front man for Thousand Foot Krutch. Since then, Manafest’s albums have been
nominated for numerous Covenant (winning five), Dove and Juno Awards. Fighter, his fifth
album, is gaining traction. It’s “opened up some new doors, which is just crazy. It’s doing
really well in India and Canada.”
And Manafest’s taking the lessons he’s learned from the stage to the page. Fighter is
also the title of a motivational book he’s been working on during the album’s tour. “It’s
about how God got a hold of a punk skate kid from a small town and did something with
him,” says Manafest. “If God did something with me, I can only imagine what He can do
with someone else if they keep fighting and don’t quit.” –Robert White
portant what GMA Canada is doing for music here. The
collaborator award is just one example of the way they
help us cross bridges and encourage unity across genres.”
It’s not a revelation that many in the industry are inclined
to fly international rather than drive domestic. And the
first stop is south of the border.
There’s a distinct energy in the States that most Can-
adian gospel artists recognize. Those, like Bauer, who
periodically travel to Nashville to write and record, see
the two-edged sword that the indus-
try down there – with its huge array
of A-list songwriters, producers and
musicians – can wield in the life of
talented Canadians looking to fur-
ther their careers.
JEFF DEWSbur Y of Langley, B.C., is
a senior writer at Faith Today.
Long Shot Leads
to a Number
Colin bernard, Covenant
Award nominee for New
Artist of the Year, began
his career playing blue-
grass music alongside
his French-Acadian family members – that is until his siblings’
musical tastes, which ran beyond bluegrass to Elton John and
David Bowie, began influencing him.
By his early teens, Bernard had both become a Christian
and a fan of u2. “They became my major influence,” Bernard
says. “Some would say to my detriment, because you don’t
want to sound too much like u2. When I started writing and
composing, that influence started to manifest itself. I modelled myself after their style.”
Bernard teamed up with his lyricist brother Joel to create
enough material to self-produce two records in the late 1990s.
“They were a major flop. We didn’t know what we were doing
and were still in the Maritimes where there was no infrastructure,” says Bernard who now lives in Ottawa. After a decade of an
up-and-down career, he slowed down on the singing and writing.
“One day my wife Monica suggested I take two or three of
my best songs and send them down to some big shot produ-
cer in Nashville.”
That long shot resulted in producers Ed and Scott Cash
(known for their work with Starfield and Chris Tomlin) produ-
cing Bernard’s Hold On EP, boosting his career. The title track,
released as the first single, hit number one on his hometown
Christian radio station, staying there for three weeks.
“That’s never happened before for a local guy,” says Ber-
nard. “It’s been exciting to be part of what God’s doing. We’re
just along for the ride.” –Robert White