After a lot of time off, the artist known as Messanjah will be performing once again, and this time with his family.
Kevin Manness is a Christian hip-hop artist from Winnipeg. When he's on stage rapping, he goes by the name Messanjah.
"My friend used to call me Mess growing up, as a nickname, and I wanted people to know that what I'm doing, I'm doing for God. I used to be a mess before Him. It's sort of mess and Jehovah, so it's me and Him," says Manness.
Manness has been on the music scene for roughly 20 years and has previously opened up for P.O.D.
"Before the pandemic hit, I was the busiest I'd ever been. That summer I performed almost every weekend. I was in Calgary three times. I did a Juno concert in March the day before the lockdown."
Initially, not being able to perform his music at all was a hard transition for the artist.
"It's been really good in a way because it was a great season to focus on things, like live streaming. Also, taking time to reflect and grow your faith. I got to work on a lot of new music, I have a new album coming out."
Over the past year, Manness has added some people to his stage.
"My music ministry has expanded now. My daughter sings with me, my son raps with me, and my wife also sings with me. Your family watches you perform every week and you can't help but get excited and get involved. It's amazing because God gave each one of them a gift in it too."
A favourite summer event for Manness has been singing in Toronto, Ontario. Before the pandemic, he had performed three summers in a row.
"There's a place in Peterborough called Victoria Park that is one of the worst places in the city. There are stabbings there, people live in the park, there are always issues there. We set up in the park and do a concert there. The last time I went I did 18 songs, they feed everybody who lives there, and last year we saw 5 salvations."
Manness is invited by the local church in the Peterborough area to go again for two weekends in September, to perform and share his testimony.
"Usually I would fly out there by myself, but because of COVID, it's become more of a challenge. As my family is coming with me, we're in need of transportation to get there."
Manness and his crew are hoping to be out by September 11 until the following weekend. Anyone who is willing to lend their RV for the family can contact Manness directly by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
"My show is filled with God's word. If listeners don't know God or His word, they will after the show is over. My mission statement is to nourish people with God's word through music. Music is so powerful. The word is like a seed, it'll birth something new every time you hear it. Even if you do know God, you'll be encouraged and your faith will be strengthened."
Manness says he loves seeing his audience be bold for Christ. Before heading to Toronto in September, he will be performing at a youth event in Winnipeg and Family Fun Day in Southport near Portage la Prairie.