Manafest chooses his own destiny

An injury caused Chris Greenwood to change gears and pursue a career in music

Chris Greenwood was cruising through life, working as a network engineer and skateboarding on weekends.

Then life took a one-eighty.

A skateboarding injury led to a re-evaluation of his life and the decision to pursue music, leaving his computer career behind.

“I don’t normally dabble in anything,” Greenwood said.

Since that decision, Greenwood went on to record five albums, earn two Juno Award nominations and have his music featured in television shows like CSI:Miami and One Tree Hill – under the name Manafest.

His latest album, Fighter, is a much more personal account of his life, which included the suicide of his father when Greenwood was just a child, and the lifelong insecurity he felt because of it.

He was travelling alone through New Zealand when the emotions started coming to the surface. Although Fighter is personal, Greenwood’s ideas and experiences colour all his music.

“It’s always there,” Greenwood said. “I always want to get it out there.”

What also comes through his music is his Christian faith. Although he doesn’t consider himself a Christian music artist, he is proud of his faith.

“I don’t mind sharing that,” Greenwood said. “I like to keep my music pretty neutral.”

To help repay his success, one of Greenwood’s side projects is a book offering do-it-yourself tips and advice on getting into the music industry – something he wished more people had shared with him.

He said the ups and downs and the rejection from the industry are trying.

“One day you get five rejections and the next the door opens to success,” Greenwood said.

Manafest performs an all-ages show at Headliners in Nanaimo June 2, with Whosarmy, winners of the Cover Me Canada television show.

The quartet met in high school and soon after started playing Toronto’s club circuit before landing on the hit television show.

Winning the music contest led to a recording contract with Universal Music and the opportunity to work with some of Canada’s top musicians.

Tickets $15/advance from Lucid, Tranceformations, Harbour City Music, Dog’s Ear and Headliners; $20/door.

Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.manafest.net.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com