CCM: Do you have any plans to write another book?
Manafest: Heck, I’d like to write another book. 5 Keys To Conquering Fear… (buy) changed a lot of people’s lives. We’ve actually been giving it away now, because I figured out a way to get them paid for and give them away as long as shipping is covered. That’s been really cool but, dude, what’s really cool is seeing all kinds of people sending me pictures—at least once a week—holding up a book and saying how it changed them. That’s frickin’ awesome! It’s funny, you don’t ever think about some of this stuff… I never thought I’d do an album, either, but here I am ten albums later.
CCM: You’ve recently been very active in the teaching/training aspect of the music industry, and coming from the perspective of a successful independent artist, your voice is greatly respected and broadening within this community.
Manafest: There’s just no excuses anymore for an artist not to get out there [and be successful]. I like pouring in to the next generation, it’s just great. There’s just so many artists out there that we have probably never even heard of that have insane careers, and they’re not a household name or even with a label. For so many [up and coming artists], they just look at the The Drake’s, the Katy Perry’s, or the Newsboys’ or tobyMac’s and assume they have to be on that level. They don’t realize there’s a “middle class.” I started SmartMusicBusiness.com and my coaching programs to teach others that you really don’t necessarily need a label to just have a successful career. If you want to have worldwide-massive success, you know, I think a label partnership is needed, but it’s definitely not the only option anymore, not even close. I want to help artists navigate and avoid the mistakes I’ve made.
CCM: I’ve heard you share on-stage, but for people who might not know, tell us how the loss of your dad has impacted your life and work.
Manafest: It’s funny, I’m living in Pickering again, and I’m probably five minutes from the house that I grew up in where my dad eventually committed suicide. It was a dark time for my mom, and yes, even more for me, but I don’t think I fully realized the impact that it had on me [until later]. It affected me for a long time growing up in fear and insecurity, and just not having that peace. I really think God designed there to be both a father and a mom for a kid, so when you’re missing one of those pieces, I think it disjoints things. Not having a dad is definitely not cool.
From time to time, even as I’m an older man now, sometimes I wish I had someone who was a little older than me to lean on. I don’t know if he would’ve been into the certain things that I am, but it would’ve been at least nice to have that now, you know. But God has definitely put a whole bunch of mentors in my life, through books and through business people—such as pastors and godly men. It is actually amazing [what He has done].
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