Trek Manifest Aug 9th 2019
Trek Manifest, born Devin Thomas, has held Hip-Hop close to his heart all his life. “I’ve been rapping since I was 5 years old. I am 35 now and Hip-Hop has always been a part of my life.” Manifest describes his work as versatile, socially conscious, fun, and transparent. He explores things like family, self-preservation, and love in his lyrics.
Manifest has developed a distinct sound and elevated his lyrics over the years. His roots in Christian rap and popular Hip-Hop may seemingly clash, but Manifest brings the best of both worlds into his own music, crafting thoughtful messages and instantly appealing beats. “Finding my sound took me until 2016 to know exactly who I am as an artist.”
It wasn't until the track “Suit Size” that Manifest “Cracked the code.” He refers to “Suit Size” as his musical “Cheat Code.” It opened up the door to dozens of new musical pathways and accelerated his passion for exploration.
“I put every aspect of who I am and what I do into that song.” The bouncy beat and relatable lyrics connect with people. Manifest now uses that song as a skeleton for how he wants to make music moving forward. “It was like a lightbulb when I discovered it.”
Like much of his music, the big idea for “Suit Size” came to Manifest during an everyday experience. On his lunch break, stopping by Starbucks, he heard a hook that he fell in love with. He quickly messaged his co-producer and 10 minutes later began sending lyrics via voice memo from his phone. “I was just trying to get me coffee and that's when it hit me. I have learned to seize the moment a lot more. I am always writing and always coming up with ideas.”
Manifest’s most recent album, “This Should Hold You,” reveals meaningful and sometimes difficult moments of his personal journey. On the track “The Greatest”, he opens up about the death of two family members including one who was shot and killed by police and another who lost their lives to suicide. Through the clean steady beat and his intrinsic lyrics, you can hear Manifest express the pain of losing loved ones as well as a motivational message for those struggling with similar experiences.
Playing a positive role and creating positive messages in his music is important not only to Manifest’s music but in his life. When he isn't making music or performing, Devin Thomas, works with students that have special needs and on music programs designed to reach underserved youth
He explains, “People aren't used to seeing a black man working with special needs kids and they are a little surprised to see me treat them like my own kids. It’s not always easy, but seeing how much they give love to me makes it easier for me to give back that same love and energy to people in my life, and people who listen to my music. I learn so much from them like how they receive messages, and then I consider those lessons when I am thinking about how to deliver my music.”
Manifest is currently working on a new EP due to come out this fall called, “Thank You I Needed That”, as an ode to experiences both good and bad that have helped him grow. The EP is a celebration of owning every experience you encounter. Manifest explains it as, “sometimes even the negative is just a part of the struggle that you need.” He advocates for each of us to “take advantage of the season your in. Even if you're unhappy now this might all be in preparation for what's next.”
Trek Manifest performs next at the Franklinton Fridays Music Series this Friday at the Idea Foundry. Doors open at 7 pm. The show is free and supports the Dick and Jane Project, helping kids across Columbus make music. You can listen to Trek Manifest on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Bandcamp. You can also reach him on his Instagram account or Facebook.