Juno-nominated hip-hop artist Manafest is playing a concert at Alexis Park Church on Monday night. He will be showcasing songs from his latest album The Chase.

Juno-nominated hip-hop artist Manafest is playing a concert at Alexis Park Church on Monday night. He will be showcasing songs from his latest album The Chase.

Motivated rapper sticks to plan A

Chris Greenwood ,a.k.a Manafest, is a man on a mission.

Chris Greenwood ,a.k.a Manafest, is a man on a mission.

His latest release, The Chase is his fourth full-length album and it’s his hardest hitting work to date, infusing rock, rap and pop seamlessly.

Manafest, stopping by Vernon for a show on Monday, has been organically building his fan base for the past six years, playing hundreds of shows on three continents and selling over  100,000 records. He is a Juno and Dove nominee, and his music has been featured in video games and on TV shows like Knight Rider, One Tree Hill and MTV Unplugged.  He’s been endorsed by Circa, West 49 and Nomis.

So, what’s left to achieve? That’s simple. Sell one million records, keep touring the globe and continue getting his message out to fans.  If past success is any indication, it’s only a matter of time before he makes this happen.

Manafest didn’t start writing lyrics until he was 18 and up to that point spent a lot of time perfecting his skating technique. One of the stand out songs from his latest release The Chase is No Plan B.  This is a term he and his friends used while riding the cement waves.

He sings, “It’s too late, it’s my fate, there’s no turning back. There’s no fear in the mirror to hold me down. And I know that this road is my destiny. I’ve got to stick to the plan cause there’s no Plan B.”

This song pays homage to of the classic punk bands like Bad Religion and some modern day rockers like Green Day. The lyrics are also reminiscent of Eminem’s hit Lose Yourself. There’s a similar urgency in both of these tunes.

Manafest draws inspiration from travelling, seeing new cultures and meeting new people. He’s also moved by the stories his fans share with him about how his music has changed their lives for the better.

“I never set out to be a role model, but now I do some motivational speaking and the kids who come to see me seem to find meaning in my songs. That really means a lot to me. It keeps me going,” he said.

Manafest credits his fans with his success. “These kids somehow found my music and they just ran with it. They liked what they heard and they told their friends. It really was an organic buzz that got me to where I am now.”

While his last album Citizens Activ was a mix of rock, pop and rap and even some gospel influences Manafest considers The Chase to be a more straight ahead rock album that was inspired by artists like Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, 3 Days Grace and even some emo bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance.

The other stand out song on The Chase is Everytime You Run. This is a song about second chances and about a few dark moments in his life when he really felt like there was a guardian angel that showed him the light. The video shows Manafest after he’s flipped his SUV. He has a choice to make after this horrific accident. Get up and get his life together or give up and start dying.

He sings, “I thought of a song my mom used to sing in church, but it’s been so long I can’t remember the words… I promised not to quit and I remembered the words.”

This is a poignant message for anyone who is grappling with the meaning of their own life. It is, admittedly a more mellow sounding tune though.  Does he ever worry about what his more hardcore fans might think about lighter songs like these?

“You know what, no, I don’t worry about what some people might think,” he says.  “I want my songs to encourage people. My songs come with a resolution.  I don’t force my views on anyone either, I ask them to make up their own minds. And if a song like, Everytime You Run helps one person through a dark time in their life, then I feel like I’m doing something positive with my music and my life.”

With more than 1,000 shows under his belt, and all those record sales, it sounds like the fans have spoken. And as for Manafest? He’ll continue chasing his dream of making a living writing music and touring the world. As he says, “There’s No Plan B.”

Manafest is playing Monday night at the Alexis Park Church on 35th Street, with opening act Hathaway. The show is at 7 p.m., and the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.