Through times of darkness and pain, Manitoba artist k a r l e e is excited to share her journey with the world through her music.
25-year-old k a r l e e currently lives in Three Hills, Alberta, but grew up around Manitoba, born in Winnipeg and living in areas such as New Bothwell and Roseau River.
"I think I started playing guitar when I was 12," k a r l e e says. The mainly self-taught musician also began songwriting at the young age of 16.
The artist says she tried a few Bible schools and earned her Red Seal in hairstyling, but eventually, Prairie Bible College (PBC) resonated with her. "I got into the songwriting program, worked under Brian Doerksen and came out with an EP."
Her new album, entitled 'Rewrite This Life,' touches on the themes of her time at PBC.
"When I first decided to go to Prairie College, I thought, 'these three years are going to be great, they're going to be filled with community and it's going to be just a really great experience,'" k a r l e e recalls. But that didn't quite become the case.
"It ended up being the three hardest years of my life."
Through the pain and sorrow that she says went on during those years, however, k a r l e e used her musical giftings as not only a way to cope, but a way to thrive. It was through her songwriting, in fact, that the artist says she's learned how truly and deeply powerful music can be.
"Music is a powerful, powerful source," says k a r l e e. "For me, it has been like a relief almost. You get these built up emotions, built up life situations and for me, it's just that relief to get it out there... to let God take it and just let it go."
Her journey learning to walk through pain alongside her music is one reason k a r l e e says she wouldn't consider her music to be expressly labelled as "worship" music.
"I would consider it more story," the songstress shared. "When I songwrite, I can't separate my faith and my songwriting because my faith is such a vital part of who I am. It's my identity; my identity is found in Christ."
Now graduating with her diploma in music and worship arts with a major in songwriting and recording, k a r l e e says her life is taking a turn towards joy. "I'm going from that season of pain to that season of joy and there's definitely been some really good healing through that songwriting journey."
She says that music is an incredible resource when it comes to walking through life in both good times and bad.
"I believe that every song that you put out there and that you write can touch somebody and can move somebody and God can use that song no matter what it's about, no matter what the circumstance."