Singer/rapper/songwriter/author/skater Manafest pushes musical envelopes, creating an uplifting, seamless blur between the spectrums of rap, hip-hop, rock and pop while selling 300,000-plus albums, playing more than 1,000 events logged over four continents and garnering four Juno and five GMA Dove Award nominations along with nine GMA Canada Covenant Awards. After seven albums in the major label system, and anchored by a sea of tastemaking fans that fully funded his current PledgeMusic campaign, Manafest will return to his indie roots for his next groundbreaking album, Reborn, releasing Oct. 2 through The Fuel Music. Pre-orders are being received now at www.pledgemusic.com/manafest.
Inspired by a full-circle season that mirrors the hunger and predominant hip-hop flavors accompanying this versatile artist’s self-released debut a dozen years ago, Reborn is part of a creative surge that’s been churning in the performer’s mind for quite awhile.
“I’ve always rapped, even on the rock stuff, but I’ve wanted to do a more hip-hop influenced record for a long time,” says Manafest. “I started thinking about that just after Fighter came out, which was my second kind of more real rock record like The Chase, and then last year’s The Moment was a bit of a hybrid record. For Reborn, I decided to go back to hip-hop, but even the way I do hip-hop isn’t the traditional ‘boom, bap,’ stuff, so I don’t think the fans who like more of the rock stuff will be disappointed.
“The whole concept of my faith is always all about being reborn and starting anew,” continues Manafest. “I’ve done this for a long time, but at times I feel reborn because I’m basically starting over. And I say that as someone who’s not jaded or broke, but as someone who’s happy and stoked. I still have lots to say and lots to create.”
Joining Manafest in the process of creating Reborn are producers Seth Mosley (Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, Sanctus Real) and Joel Bruyere (Thousand Foot Krutch), along with several eclectic guest performers. The signature rock vocals of longtime Manafest collaborator Trevor McNevan (Thousand Foot Krutch) lifts the chorus in “Shine,” a song about living each day to maximum capacity and ‘beaming your light’ along the way. Rappers Tedashii and Shonlock vibe alongside Manafest on “I Have A Dream,” a track that carries on the message of peace and unity that Martin Luther King, Jr. began. Former Family Force 5 lead vocalist Soul Glow Activatur (Solomon Olds) joins Manafest on the rhythmic party rocker “Stick To Your Gunz,” an all-out anthem for surviving the struggle and never going down for the count.
The album also features musicians like guitarist Jerry McPherson (Jewel, The Neville Brothers) and drummer Miles McPherson (Paramore), whose pop/punk rhythms propel lead single and video “Let You Drive.” Premiered this week by NewReleaseToday.com, the song is available now on iTunes, Spotify and more, and goes for radio adds nationally on Aug. 14. The single is about taking your hands off the wheel and knowing that God’s got everything under control.
“So many times I’ve tried to take control of the wheel steering my life in the direction I wanted to go,” reflects Manafest. “I came to understand, through experience, that every time I let God in, it was the better route – not only for having peace during the journey, but also arriving to the destination faster and not as bruised up from life’s punches.”
That theme carries over into the hip-hop centric album’s title track, which premiered this week on Rapzilla.com and is sort of a “Manafest meets Johnny Cash and Mumford & Sons” eclectic offering. (See lyric video at http://youtu.be/Gzsysud-fbA.)
“To me, being reborn is starting over and having a second chance,” says Manafest. “It’s like hitting restart, but without having to go back in time and start from the very beginning. This song is a confession that it’s not easy, and that we can all have doubts, but just don’t give into them. I fall down, but I rise and go!”
Taking the new music and messages of Reborn, along with his long list of fan favorites, on the road, Manafest brings his live concert experience to fairs, festivals and parks internationally this summer before returning to North America to launch his “Reborn Tour” Sept. 17 in Evansville, IN.