By Victoria Horne
Photo by Viktor Karklins.
Three musical artists at this year’s Youth Quake came back to familiar territory.
Kinley, (Briercrest college ’06), Manuela, (Briercrest college ’08) and Jon Bryant (CHS ’04) all attended school in Caronport.
Between coffeehouse concerts, main sessions, and connecting with fans, the three found time to share their thoughts on faith, music, and returning to their alma mater.
What was it like to return to Briercrest as part of this year’s Youth Quake line-up?
Kinley: It’s always a good feeling coming back here. The dynamics, the people, everything is amazing.
Manuela: It’s cool to see all the growth that has happened on campus, especially with the new academic programs. To see all the new options that are available to the students is amazing.
This year Youth Quake centered on the theme “Stand,” how has this theme played out in your own life?
Jon: I think, in both the music scene and in my personal life, I've had a lot of opportunities to stand but, to be honest, a lot of the times I don't stand - I fail. The great thing about Christ is He'll take that. Even in times when we're weak . . . God sees past that, His grace is bigger than [our weakness].
I've tried to maintain a state of humility and repentance returning to the idea that Christ is God and He's died for me. That reality helps me get back up and stand, even though I still stumble.
How did your time at Briercrest help shape you as an artist?
Kinley: Briercrest helped me realize the seriousness of what it meant to become an artist. Living as a student around so many other musicians who had more experience and natural talent pushed me to grow personally and in my music. My time at Briercrest really helped me to find the confidence in myself I needed to pursue being an artist.
Manuela: Briercrest gave me the space to develop my voice, both in content as well as my actual physical voice. When I first started as a freshman, I sang more of a pop style like Avril Lavigne but after four years at Briercrest it developed into this more vocal, artsy style. Briercrest helped me find my fit.
How has your faith affected your career?
Jon: The desire to go into the” not church” is really big for me. Through music, talking, bantering, and speaking with people afterwards I can share the love of Christ in some way whether it’s in acts of kindness or through conversations in bars after a show. For me personally, that’s what I’ve always asked God for.
Years ago I asked God if he was going to sanctify me sanctify me in the way that I would never get comfortable and he’s definitely lived up to his end of the bargain.
Kinley: I think my faith has affected my career immensely. The creative process is a huge part of God’s character and being an artist I get to regurgitate everything God has already made. I’m so thankful for the chance to join in that process.
Manuela: If I don’t say what I’m really about, I would just feel fake and my faith is a huge part of who I am, where would I be without Jesus? Nowhere! That’s what I want to share in my music but to also have it be accessible to all audiences. . . I want my music to get people asking questions, I want to make people think about these issues.
What would you say to anyone looking to pursue their own dreams of a career in music?
Manuela: I wouldn’t be here [in my career] if I hadn’t gone here [Briercrest].
Kinley: Allow yourself to be influenced by seeking after good things, allow yourself to influence others, and always try your best.
Jon: If you aren't willing to be vulnerable and real - don't bother. If you are willing, you’ve got a life ahead of you that will inspire and bring you a lot of satisfaction and joy, there's nothing like using your gifting and art in a real and tangible way.
For more information about Kinley, upcoming shows, or how to find his new album Fair Hero go to http://www.kinleymusic.com/
For more information on Manuela, contact information, or her debut album A different kind of Fire go to http://themanuela.com/
For more information on Jon Bryant, career updates, or his album Two Coasts for Comfort visit http://www.jonbryant.ca/