In Conversation With . . . Manafest

I know I can move on?I gotta dream it.
I know where I belong?come on and sing it!
I know I can move on, I still believe it.
I know I can be strong, come on and sing it!

?Live On? from Citizens Activ by Manafest

Manafest is the alias of Toronto recording artist Chris Greenwood. He has toured Canada, the United States, Ireland, and Japan. Recent performances in Japan put him in the top 10 with Madonna, Usher, and Mariah Carey. Last year, his album Glory won nominations from both the Junos and the GMA Dove Awards. His recently released CD, Citizens Activ produced by Adam Messinger, is his fifth album and his third album with internationally distributed label Uprok Records.

Inspiration

To be creative I need skateboarding, music, God, and my wife. Books that have inspired me are the Bible and How to be Happy Though Rich by Peter Daniels.

My favourite albums are Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, The Beastie Boys? Check Your Head, and Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. This week I’ve been listening to Bun B featuring Lil Wayne, Braille, and 14:40 band. My favourite movies are Walk the Line and Lord of the Rings. After work I skateboard, sleep, go work out, and eat food.

Getting the Beat

My musical background is hip hop, punk, and rock. I get beats from different producers and listen through them until I find one that catches my ear. I then shout out different ideas/lyrics over the beat until I get something that fits.
Other times I’ll sit with a producer and we’ll make the track on the spot, which I then go write to. I like to be alone in a quiet room with no distractions.

A typical rehearsal takes place in my studio having the music blaring, while I’m rapping around the room looking in the mirror. That’s my solo practice. With the band It’s in a basement. We each wear headphones, jamming to the track.

Becoming Manafest

I grew up in a suburb called Pickering, just East of Toronto. I had only one parent and my sister; my dad committed suicide when I was five years old. We moved a lot.

A man from the church my mom went to approached her to see if it was cool if he could be an influence in my life. This guy became like a father to me. He showed me how to build computers, took me camping, biking, and was a real friend. To this day we are close friends and he was the best man at my wedding.

I believe all men and women are equal with different talents, gifts, and abilities. I’m a Christian and have a faith in Jesus.

I came up with the name Manafest on the phone in a kitchen with a friend. When something’s made Manafest It’s been exposed or revealed. I’m revealing my opinion on life through personal experience and the revelation God has shown me. I believe that life is a journey we are all on, constantly growing and learning. As I learn stuff I think is relevant I put it in my music.

A Part of Something Great

I’m always believing for the best. I had a lot of discouragement growing up so I like to encourage people. We all get down from time to time, but I never stay there longer than an hour. I surround myself with positive influences, whether It’s books, music, or people. That helps me stay focused and driven to my goals.

Jeremiah 29:11 talks about God having a plan to prosper his people, to give them a hope and a future. When I was growing up I was always told I’d never amount to anything. When I read that verse it was like God was speaking directly to me, and the fact that he had a plan for my life. Wow . . . most people don’t even plan their day let alone a month or next few years.

Isaiah 54:17 says no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Whenever I’m starting to feel a cold coming on I speak this over my life. I don’t get sick anymore and have never missed a show from being ill. And never will.

Philipians 4:13 reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. When you know God is for you That’s a boost of confidence, to know that anything is possible if you believe.

I believe I’ve been given the opportunity to be part of something great and That’s God’s call on my life. We’ve all been given the greatest gift in the world, and That’s the power of ?choice.? I’ve chosen to follow the call of God in my life to perform, write music, skateboard, and speak about the experiences I’ve seen and heard.

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