Manitoba Christian artist and worship pastor Jake Fretz is feeling humbled by his recent nomination in the category of Spiritual Artist of the Year.
"On Tuesday, when the announcement came out for the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA), what surprised me was, that morning I had woken up, and after spending time in devotions, God really impressed on me that I was supposed to be focusing on making these songs accessible to smaller churches," says Fretz.
His single 'I Want Your Heart' has been charting well, but Fretz felt a pull to make it easy for small churches to play it during their worship also. This is the project he is currently working on.
"In a day where I was actually focused on making the song smaller, was when the recognition and publicity were actually getting bigger."
The way Fretz thought the Christian artist thing would go is different than what God had in mind, according to him.
"My phone was off. It was blowing up on social media while I was sitting there thinking about the individual who's in Northern Manitoba or Northern Ontario, who I will be sharing these songs with."
He's felt honoured to be nominated for this award.
"To be up beside such great artists, like Steve Bell, he's a legend. Caleb Delamont I actually went to school with him. We're both friends and I remember him helping me pitch one of my first songs a long time ago. It's a real joy to be sharing the spotlight with these guys."
Fretz's latest single has even gained traction in South America and South Africa.
"That song is simply a cry for more of God. I think it demonstrates that the church wants more of Him. The more we can nurture our relationship with God and keep that our priority, I think it's going to keep us grounded through this season of turmoil and big questions."
He's been a worship pastor for 20 years and recently stepped into the calling of a Christian artist as well.
"When you simply say yes to God and His ways, He shows that He has a better plan than we do. When we start caring about people, and we put those songs and those stories first, ones that are going to draw people's attention to Him, then He continues to open doors and pave a way."
While he grew up in Ontario and took his after grad in Saskatchewan, Fretz has made his home in Portage la Prairie, Man.
"I've been in Portage la Prairie for the past six years and that's really become the birthplace to be an artist. It wasn't until I found my place here in Manitoba that I actually found my voice as an artist."
Fretz is the Worship Pastor of Prairie Alliance Church.
"It was when things became smaller and I started paying attention to the people around me then God began to give me songs that could share with us as a local church. From there we recognize that these songs were meant to go further."
CHVN has been playing Fretz's latest single, 'I Want Your Heart' since its release in January 2021. On June 4, Fretz will be releasing a deluxe version of the single.