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Ones to Watch: Manafest

  • Paul Colman CCM Magazine
  • 2007 23 Mar
Ones to Watch:  Manafest

When a severe skateboarding accident left Canadian Chris Greenwood hospitalized and bed-ridden, he asked God for a new direction and then simply began filling notepads with lyrics expressing his prayers, hopes and dreams.

Once Chris – now known as “Manafest” – recovered, he began hitting open mic nights on a weekly basis, and, eventually, his passion-filled hip-hop led to a record deal with Tooth & Nail’s BEC label. The resulting album, "Glory," is a musically diverse and lyrically amazing record.

Paul:  How did you get into being a full-time musician?

Manafest:  For about five years I was working an IT job and recording music, doing shows on the weekends. As I toured and played shows, more doors opened. It was the summer of 2005, when "Epiphany" came out, that I took a step of faith and left my job. I’ve been a full-time musician now for a year and a half and love it, but it’s not always easy.

Paul:  Your record is wonderfully diverse. Was that intentional?

Manafest:  I’ve always loved both rock and rap music and just wanted to play with both styles. I find playing both rock and hip-hop lets me experiment more, and I can express myself in more ways than I could by just doing one style of music. I tour with both rock acts and hip-hop acts, and that lets me have a larger audience.

Paul:  When did “Manafest” as a name and identity happen?

Manafest:  Originally, when we first came up with the name, it was just to have one because I was leaving a hip-hop group and going solo. Then, two months ago, I was flying back from L.A. to Texas and had an encounter with God. He re-instilled the vision in my heart and why I do what it is I do. Manafest to me is a hot, fiery light that shines God’s glory. I feel God has called me to be a light to the world and to influence a generation through music and whatever else I do, whether skateboarding or speaking.

Paul:  I love your lyrics. They’re amazing. Do they come pretty quickly, or do you really work on them for a long time?

Manafest:  Sometimes they come really quick when I’m inspired and have time to write the song out, and, other times, it takes me a week to get the song out the way I want it.

© 2007 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to subscribe.